Chelsea will head into the upcoming Premier League season with one primary objective – finishing in the top four at the end of the campaign.
The Blues endured a dismal time of things last time around, finishing 12th in the standings and failing to win any major silverware.
However, with Chelsea in a more stable place following Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment as manager, there is renewed optimism around the club.
With that in mind, we take a look at Chelsea’s first four fixtures to determine whether they can make a flying start to the new Premier League season.
Liverpool (H) – August 13
Chelsea have been handed a tough opening game against another club who massively underperformed during the previous campaign.
Liverpool are rated as the favourites to win this fixture, with top bookmakers offering odds of 11/8 for them to emerge victorious.
However, there has been little to choose between the two sides in recent meetings and it would be no surprise if their latest encounter finished all-square.
Home advantage should help Chelsea produce a strong performance and they are strongly fancied to pick up at least one point from this game.
West Ham United (A) – August 20
West Ham United struggled for much of last season, but eventually eased clear of the relegation zone to retain their Premier League status.
They ended the campaign by winning the Europa Conference League and will have high hopes of building on that success this term.
The loss of influential midfielder Declan Rice to Arsenal is a blow and could impact their ability to make a positive start to the season.
On that basis, Chelsea look a good bet to pick up three points at the London Stadium.
Luton Town (H) – August 25
Luton Town have done well to climb into the top flight, but you would be hard pressed to imagine them staying there for longer than a season.
The Hatters won promotion via the Championship play-offs and their summer transfer business bears all the hallmarks of a club already preparing for life back in the second tier.
The two sides have met twice in the FA Cup in recent years, with Chelsea emerging victorious on each occasion.
The Blues are a home banker in this one and will likely be the cornerstone of multiple accumulator bets on Matchday 3.
Nottingham Forest (H) – September 2
Nottingham Forest just about steered clear of relegation last season after finishing four points above the dreaded drop zone.
Their summer transfer business has been underwhelming and another season of struggle is on the cards for the Midlands outfit.
Steve Cooper is a best-priced 10/1 to be the first manager to leave his post and those odds look tempting given Forest have a tough set of opening fixtures.
Chelsea should pick up another victory here to continue what would represent an excellent start to the new Premier League campaign.
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