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Huddersfield Town v Chelsea

Midfielder Jorginho joined Chelsea for £57m from Napoli this summer

TEAM NEWS

Huddersfield could give debuts to Ramadan Sobhi and Adama Diakhaby.

The Terriers will make a late decision on whether to play loanee Isaac Mbenza, who joined on deadline day, while new signing Erik Durm won’t be risked.

Chelsea playmaker Jorginho, who followed head coach Maurizio Sarri from Napoli this summer, is set for his first Premier League appearance.

Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga is eligible to play after joining from Athletic Bilbao on deadline day.

Midfielder Mateo Kovacic could also make his debut following a loan move from Real Madrid.

World Cup winners N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud, Belgium star Eden Hazard and England defender Gary Cahill come into contention after taking part in training this week.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@Guymowbray: Huddersfield almost surely won’t finish above Chelsea this season, but they have a decent chance to beat them to start it.

Since fighting to stay up (aided by a famous 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge) it has been a settled summer of steady business for Town.

With a few in and a few out, their squad looks marginally (not massively) better than for their first Premier League campaign.

I expect Chelsea to be better than last time too, but maybe not from the off.

Antonio Conte’s protracted departure and the late return of World Cup stars make it likely that Maurizio Sarri will need time to make his mark.

If and when he does, the Blues should be fun to watch.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Huddersfield head coach David Wagner: “It’s up to the whole group to get this togetherness up to a level that makes it difficult for the opponent.

“If we have a Terrier spirit, we will be competitive.”

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri: “The [Thibaut] Courtois situation was clear. He wanted to go to Madrid, so we lost maybe one of the most important goalkeepers in the world now.

“We bought a young goalkeeper, I think one of the most important amongst the young goalkeepers in Europe. I’m really happy.

“He’s very young, 23. I hope he can improve very fast. For the moment he’s not Courtois, for sure.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Huddersfield basically swam the channel to stay up last season and I think the next few months are going to be a similar story for them.

This might be a good time for them to play Chelsea, who are in a mess at the moment.

It is going to take their new boss Maurizio Sarri a while to settle in and sort things out, which is why I don’t think they will finish in the top four, but I am still backing them to win this game.

Prediction: 0-2

Lawro’s full predictions v Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas

Maurizio Sarri is the 12th Italian to manage in the Premier League, and the sixth to do so for Chelsea

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Huddersfield’s most recent league win against Chelsea was in a Division Two game at Stamford Bridge in March 1963.
  • They last beat them in the top flight in October 1954, winning 1-0 at Leeds Road. Despite the defeat, Chelsea ended that season by winning their first league title.

Huddersfield Town

  • Their only win in the final 10 league games last season came against Watford in April (D4, L5).
  • During that run they scored a total of three goals.
  • Huddersfield have lost 10 Premier League games in 2018, more than any other side.
  • In total, the Terriers scored 28 goals last season, a joint-Premier League low with Swansea City. The Terriers failed to net in 21 of their 38 top-flight matches.
  • David Wagner’s side won their final three pre-season games, beating Lyon, Bologna and RB Leipzig, scoring a total of eight goals.
  • Laurent Depoitre has scored both of Huddersfield’s Premier League goals against Chelsea.

Chelsea

  • The Blues lost to Burnley in their first fixture last year – it’s their only season-opening league defeat in the past 19 seasons (W15, D3).
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League visits to Yorkshire (W6, D2) since a 2-0 loss at Leeds in 2002.
  • Maurizio Sarri lost his opening league fixture in his two previous top-flight jobs, with Empoli in 2014 and Napoli in 2015.
  • Alvaro Morata has scored one goal in 14 Premier League appearances since Boxing Day.
  • Three of the last five red cards on the opening weekend of Premier League matches have been shown to Chelsea players: Thibaut Courtois in 2015, plus Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas in 2017.
  • Willian was involved in all three of Chelsea’s goals when they won 3-1 at Huddersfield last season, scoring one and setting up two.
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