Oh Y-ESS, The Bison is back!
Tomorrow the Premier League welcomes back the league's best yoyo club, West Bromwich Albion. Their manager is the Chelsea legend Roberto Di Matteo, he has been handed a daunting return to the Premier League.
West Brom follow the fixture against Chelsea with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United as their next three away games. Di Matteo twice won the FA Cup with Chelsea and is still held in high regard at the club.
This season, Chelsea will be looking to retain the trophy and finally win the Champions League. West Brom will be fighting for survival and will need to up their game to retain their Premier league status.
Chelsea may have a wealth of talent in their squad but they no longer have City's spending power. They have purchased Ramires, the former Benfica star should slot into Chelsea's midfield well and he is known for his never-ending stamina and his outstanding performances.
Chelsea no longer have the wizardry of Joe Cole and some of the old guard have moved to different shores this summer. Chelsea are not in a period of transition but they are trying to introduce younger players into the squad.
Chelsea have a habit of hitting the ground running in recent years and if they start this season in a similar fashion to how they finished the last, they could take the Baggies apart tomorrow. The last time the Blues failed to win their opening game of the season was back in 2001.
Chelsea beat Wigan on the final day of last season 8-0 and the score line did not flatter them. West Brom have lost their last eight games against Chelsea and only scored two goals.
The Blues have Cech and Alex both fit but Lamps may need a fitness test on the morning of match day. Drogba may not start because he is lacking match fitness after hernia surgery.
The Baggies are optimistic that Graham Dorrans' groin injury will not keep him out the starting line-up and Nicky Shorey should start.
Chelsea are too short at 1/6 to back to win and I cannot see the draw (11/2) or an away win (18/1). There is also little value in the Chelsea/Chelsea in the double result market at 11/20.
The midweek international matches will have helped aid the players' match fitness and Chelsea know it is no longer pre-season. Chelsea minus five goals is 18/1 but I think Chelsea minus two goals at 17/5 could be the best punt!
Many of the West Brom players could be intimidated by playing the champions on the opening day of the season. West Brom play good attractive passing football but they do not have the quality to out-play the Blues and Chelsea can take them apart!
Chelsea will be boosted by the return of Essien to the first team squad after injury and he is world class on and off the ball. He is 10/3 to score anytime and he loves shooting from distance.