Football on the weekends is finally back. Chelsea will be taking on Wigan in our first game of a Premier league season as the European Champions. Even though the Chelsea come into the new Premier league season as the 2010 European Champions, it should not hide away the fact that we finished in the sixth position last season. It was definitely the worst domestic league season since the arrival of Roman Abramovich. A repeat of the same should be avoided at all costs.
The pre-season form, though, certainly suggests that there will be many struggles for our permanent manager Roberto di Matteo. The Italian has suffered three consecutive defeats against AC Milan, Brighton and Hove Albion, and Manchester City. There are many questions being asked about the defenceand we certainly cannot have a tougher opponent than Wigan on the opening day of the season.
History may tell that Chelsea have won 11 out of the 14 meetings, but any recent success against Wigan has come with great struggle. One should also not forget that this fixture last season finished in a 1-1 draw. Wigan have also have a good home form in the last six months; a point made by the Chelsea manager in the pre-match press conference. Roberto di Matteo said
“It’s definitely a difficult fixture.
“Last season at the end they were very strong. The last 12 games they were very good, we played them at home and it was a difficult game for us. We expect a difficult game on Sunday, they’re at home as well so it won’t be easy for sure.”
Therefore, it is certainly a great start if Chelsea come away with three points from this opening match.
The big relief for Chelsea is the availability of Ivanovic, although it is not a big relief when you consider his recent form. Wigan are likely to field our transfer target Victor Moses. Daniel Sturridge and Marko Marin will not feature. Mata is unlikely to feature as the manager recently confirmed that the Spaniard needs rest after a long summer.
The £ 25 million signing Oscarcould feature at some stage in the match.
Possible team lineups:
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, David Luiz, Ashley Cole, Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Hazard, Malouda, Torres
Prediction: Chelsea to win 2-1
Kick-off: 13:30 BST (Live on Skysports)