Conte on Pedro, Morata, Wenger's comments and Chelsea's search for players

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer

Palace fans started the season with renewed optimism amid De Boer's appointment as manager but they will be anxious by their woeful performanc, which suggests another year of struggle.

The stage is set for Chelsea's title defence as they play host to the Clarets of Burnley in match-week one.

In the short term, Chelsea start the season with Eden Hazard and Bakayoko out injured, while Morata is still getting used to his new teammates and may take time to settle.

Conte played down any sense of crisis or fear of a meltdown similar to 2015-16, insisting Chelsea would "find a solution".

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"I think it's fair to say Chelsea are a powerful team and will probably be right up there again this year".

Unless Antonio Conte can organise his men into an astonishing comeback, they will be only the second defending champions to lose their first game of the following campaign. For the Arsenal manager Chelsea had enough players already on their books to fill any gaps, but chose to lend them out.

Burnley have been bouncing between top two divisions of England's league system in recent years, but they did well to survive previous Premier League campaign, finishing six points above the relegation zone.

Victor Moses is also unavailable as he'll serve a one-match ban following his sending off against the Gunners in last season's FA Cup final so Conte has a void to fill at right wing-back.

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Loftus-Cheek has made the move across London to join Frank de Boer's Crystal Palace.

"I'm very proud of my players, but in this game we saw two faces - the first half negative and the second half positive".

"I think I had to leave Madrid", he added. So at the other end is where they will have to somehow try to stop the Blues.

Fortunately, the Blues face-off against Burnley, not that much of a formidable team. And it was weird at half time because you have to decide how you're going to approach it from there.

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Head coach Antonio Conte provided a fitness update ahead of the game at Stamford Bridge, revealing Pedro has not recovered from a problem he sustained before being sent off in the Community Shield against Arsenal last week. Their first away trip in that unfortunate sequence was a 3-0 defeat - at Chelsea, on August 27. Morata will be looking to impress his manager and the home support, the striker could run riot on his debut especially with the likes of Pedro, Fabregas and Willian providing the ammunition.

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