Chelsea awaits the return of Lukaku ahead of opener against Palace

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021 11:08 |
Chelsea players celebrate after knocking out Real Madrid to reach UEFA Champions League final. INSET: Man City owner Sheikh Mansour and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic. Photo/AFP

The Premier League 2021-22 season will begin on Saturday, August 14, 2021. A month after the Euro's final and massive signings from clubs across Europe.

Champions League Titleholders Chelsea headlines the EPL opener against a familiar foe, Crystal Palace, at the Stamford Bridge.

With the Premier League confirming the officials for match day 1 of the 2021/22 season, Jonathan Moss will take charge of the meeting in west London.

The imminent return of Romelu Lukaku to his former paymasters could be finalised after the departure of mercurial striker Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham, who fell out of favour at Stamford Bridge after Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard.

On the other hand, Palace have brought on board Premier League legend Patrick Vieira to take over the helms of the club with the return of Striker Christian Benteke to the squad could pose as a morale booster for the Vieira side.

Two wins in their opening two contests against Walsall and Ipswich Town, in the Vieira era before a 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic, could be a clear indication Palace could be on to disappoint the European Champions.

Chelsea on the hand have had an impressive pre-season with a 6-1 thrashing of Peterborough Hakim Ziyech scoring a hat trick before  going on to draw 2-2 against Tottenham Spurs

Going to this game, both teams have no major injuries concerns, having coming out of the pre-season games unscathed.

However, Chelsea tactician will miss the services of Brazilian Thiago Silva, who will be out with a groin injury.

With Lukaku expected to make a comeback to the bridge, the German tactician with a serious headache, given that the whole team could be fit enough for the opener.

With the German duo of Kai Haverts and Tim Warner in perfect form, the arrival of Lukaku at the bridge could cause more headache to head Coach Thomas Tuchel as he tries to find the right pieces ahead of the opener against Palace at the Bridge.

Tuchel's men will probably line up with the familiar 3-4-2-1 formation which brought so much success last season.

However, prior to the opener against Crystal Palace, Chelsea will have to switch gears to the super cup, which pits them against Spanish side Villarreal at Windsor Park in Belfast on Wednesday night.

Thomas Tuchel guided the Blues to Champions League glory last season, while serialized Europa League winner Unai Emery was up to his old tricks and good fortune in the continent's ancillary competition.

The Super Cup fixture in Belfast marks the first time ever that Chelsea and Villarreal have locked horns in a competitive match.

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