New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas faces a tough introduction to Premier League football this weekend when he takes his team to Stoke City.
The Potters are a very strong side on home soil and will make it difficult for Chelsea from the very first whistle as they look to start their new Premier League campaign in style.
The home side will perhaps have the edge on Chelsea in terms of match fitness too as they have already been in competitive action this season with their Europa League qualification campaign.
Last season’s FA Cup finalists have some fresh faces in their side too. Matthew Upson is not fit enough to make his debut, but Jonathan Woodgate could feature.
Beyond this, boss Tony Pulis has said he is aiming for six new signings by the end of the month, so with European football on the way and another top flight campaign, it is exciting times for Stoke City.
As for Chelsea, they have a very similar squad to last year but will be hoping that under Villas-Boas they can improve sufficiently to launch a more competitive title challenge.
Manchester United were comfortably the best side last year and with Manchester City expected to challenge this year too, Chelsea really need to up their game.
The likes of Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and John Terry are not getting any younger and they will want plenty of silverware before moving past their best.
With regards to this weekend’s clash, Chelsea have a good record at the Britannia Stadium. In four visits there, they have never been on the losing side.
Looking at the team news, Fernando Torres should be available despite suffering from concussion, although Daniel Sturridge and David Luiz miss out through suspension and injury respectively.
As for the hosts, they are hoping that Rory Delap and Matthew Etherington are available despite injury concerns. Ricardo Fuller, Mamady Sidibe and Danny Higginbotham are confirmed absentees.
This could be a cracking game and you can see the action unfold from 1.30pm today.