Chelsea face West Ham in their season opener at Stamford Bridge on Monday and while it will be the third competitive game for the Hammers this season, it presents the first for the Blues and their new manager, Antonio Conte.
West Ham meanwhile, are already competitive this term having played in the Europa League qualifiers and will be looking at continuing their form from last season.
Chelsea have no new injury concerns, and summer recruits Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante are set to make their debuts tonight, while John Obi Mikel is with Nigeria at the Olympic Games in Brazil.
Kurt Zouma however remains sidelined with a long-term knee injury.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has said Dimitri Payet will not be fit to play the whole game after making a delayed start to pre-season.
Meanwhile, Aaron Cresswell and Manuel Lanzini are out with knee injuries but Andre Ayew and Sofiane Feghouli could be involved.
Head to Head
Both teams have been up against each other 105 times with Chelsea having the most times. They have won 47 of the games, while 20 have ended in draws.
For West Ham, they only have 38 victories over their West London rivals, but had the upper last season. They beat Chelsea 2-1 at Upton Park, and held the Blues to a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in this particular fixture last term.
Chelsea have won two of the last meeting between both clubs, while two others have ended in draws. West Ham have only won one in the last five.
Chelsea remain unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League meetings with West Ham at Stamford Bridge (W7 D3) and have not lost at home to them in the league since September 2002 (2-3).
West Ham were unbeaten against Chelsea in the Premier League last season (W1 D1); the first time that they have achieved this since 2002-03.
Chelsea are unbeaten in each of their last 13 season opening fixtures played at Stamford Bridge (W10 D3).
Antonio Conte has lost just one of his last 30 league games as a club manager (W27 D2 L1).
It has been a scoring affair over the last five games, with a total of 10 goals scored between them. All of the last five games with the exception of the 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in January 2014 have produced goals, so the fans and neutrals better watch out for goals tonight.
Chelsea have a brand new manager in Antonio Conte. Lauded for his tactical nous in Italy’s run at the Euros earlier this summer, he is expected to bring in the solidity and efficiency that they lacked last season. It is his first season in England, so the jury is still out on where he can lead Chelsea to by the end of the season
The very inimitable Slaven Bilic is West Ham’s manager. Unlike tonight’s opponents, the Hammers already have a manager with experience in English football and who almost led them to the top four last season. Highly revered, he will be hoping to give his team one extra push this term, starting from Stamford Bridge.
N’Golo Kante have been signed from Leicester City to give them some midfield cover and solidity, while Michy Batshuayi has come in to support the often unpredictable and controversial Diego Costa with the goalscoring responsibilities.
Unlike Chelsea, the Hammers have gone full throttle with their incoming transfers, as they have signed a massive nine players so far. They are : Gokhan Tore, Toni Martinez, Sofiane Feghouli, Havard Nordtveit, Domingos Quina, Ashley Fletcher, Arthur Masuaku, Andre Ayew and Jonathan Caller.
What are the managers saying?
Antonio Conte, Chelsea – “When you watch Leicester’s games you understand this great feeling between the players.
“Every player is ready to help his team-mate because he knows in another situation his team-mate will help him.
“It’s important to have this if you want to win. It’s important to have talented, fantastic players, but it’s important as well to create the right spirit.”
Slaven Bilic, West Ham – “We have a good squad – we’ve kept most of the players and we’ve added some players too.
“We are expecting them to improve us – we’d expect that even without them because we have been together for a year now and had a good last season.”