Chelsea's relatively easy early-season schedule continues as newly promoted Burnley come to town. The Clarets are back in the Premier League after a year's absence saw them win the Championship at a canter.
This is Burnley's 54th season in the top flight, but only the second in the last seven seasons. Their one-year stay two years ago was notable from a Chelsea perspective for two reasons. The first match, away, saw Chelsea score the goal of the season: THAT pass from Cesc Fàbregas finding André Schürrle for a cool finish. The second meeting, home at Stamford Bridge, ended a 1-1 draw after Nemanja Matić was sent off for a push on Ashley Barnes. The normally mild-mannered Matić went from zero-to-blood-boiling after Barnes's horrendous challenge. Adding insult to injury*, Barnes wasn't even cautioned by referee Martin Atkinson, whose refereeing display was so incompetent, he was put on a week's leave by the PGMOL. That may sound like minor punishment, but as far as referees go, that's about as harsh as it gets for performance-related sanctions.
* Matić escaped any physical harm, but there's certainly an argument to be made that he's not been "right" psychologically ever since. The big Spiderbeast has been trying to rediscover his imperious form ever since.
Chelsea and new head coach Antonio Conte are off to a perfect start, winning three from three in all competitions, albeit all by just one goal. But they all count the same, and a four-match winning streak has not been seen at Chelsea since December 2014. Let's bring the good times back.
Date / Time: Saturday, August 27, 2016, 15:00 BST; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Mark Clattenburg — Clatts will be in the center for the 32nd time at a Chelsea match. The last time was the "Battle of Stamford Bridge" against Spurs, after which he supposedly admitted losing control of the game. Maybe he'll do better this time.
Forecast: Hot & humid & weird
On TV: none (UK); NBCSN, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports 4 / Select HD 2 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: NBC Sports Live Extra, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA)
Chelsea team news: The squad situation remains largely unchanged, as the hunt for defensive reinforcements continues fruitlessly. Chelsea did complete the third signing of the summer, with veteran Eduardo coming in as the third goalkeeper in a move of earth-shattering proportions.
Kurt Zouma remains out as he slowly recovers from his ACL tear, while Willian remains questionable after picking up a calf injury that's kept him out of both last weekend's and Tuesday's matches. He had returned to training on Thursday, but Antonio Conte sounded less than confident of his availability in the pre-match press conference. Conte did not mention nor was he asked about Ola Aina, but the young full back limped out of our last match with a possible injury. Rio 2016 bronze medal-winner Mikel John Obi is back in England, but not ready to play just yet.
Conte's big dilemma for this match is whether to keep Cesc Fàbregas on the bench or to include him from the start. Chelsea's best passing midfielder made tremendous impact as a substitute last weekend. He started on Tuesday in the League Cup in a two-man midfield alongside Nemanja Matic, and while that setup had plenty of weaknesses, Conte is unlikely to stick with a two-man midfield in the league regardless of who plays in it. A midfield anchored by N'Golo Kanté does open up an avenue for Cesc to start either next to or instead of Oscar.
Burnley team news: The aforementioned Ashley Barnes remains at the club, but has made only one start and a handful of substitute appearances in the last 15 months after tearing his ACL at the end of the 2014-15 season and recently picking up a hamstring injury as well.
Manager Sean Dyche has an otherwise fully healthy squad and will be looking to build upon their shocking 2-0 win over Liverpool last weekend. The Reds set a Premier League record by failing to win despite hogging 80% of the possession, and Burnley will no doubt look to repeat their Chelsea-vs-Barcelona-esque trick on Saturday.
They will undoubtedly not look to repeat their performance midweek, when they were eliminated from the League Cup by fourth tier Accrington Stanley. For more on Burnley, be sure to check out Rob's opposition analysis.
Previously: Schürrle goal? Schürrle goal. Schürrle goal! The response of future champions!