John Terry and co will be looking to get their Premier League season off to the best possible start this weekend after a period of transition last year.
The Blues will be disappointed that they lost the Community Shield to Manchester City last weekend, but they know that this is where the real action starts. Sunday’s contest needs to be the start of their title bid.
They go into this campaign as the Champions of Europe of course, but also with a need to improve on their league finish. Last season, they were down in 6th and something similar wouldn’t be acceptable.
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Part of the reason for this was a slow start under Andre Villas-Boas. This is something Roberto Di Matteo – in charge for his first full season – should be looking to avoid. He wants his players to lay down a marker at Wigan this weekend and beyond.
They will certainly be helped by the quality of Oscar and Eden Hazard, two of the most high profile signings by an English club this summer. If these two can hit the ground running, then it is all the better for Chelsea.
As for Wigan, they too would quite like a positive start. Too often they have to rely on good form at the end of the campaign.
Roberto Martinez – who was once again heavily linked with a move away – will not want this to be the case again. Part of the reason they stayed up last year was positive results against the big teams and one on Sunday would do wonders for Wigan’s confidence.
In terms of how their playing squad has changed in the last few weeks, they have lost Hugo Rodallega to Fulham, but Ryo Miyaichi has arrived on loan from Arsenal and big things are expected of new defender Ivan Ramis too.
The Latics have also managed to hold on to Victor Moses – for now – so they are capable of causing Chelsea some problems.
This one gets underway from 1.30pm.