After a convincing 3-1 victory over BATE Borisov on Thursday night in the Europa League, Chelsea travel to Burnley on Sunday looking to maintain their unbeaten season.
It will be less than three days since Chelsea were last in action, and Burnley fully understand that, having suffered a tough start to their season after their own exertions in the Europa League.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has his own fitness concerns ahead of Sunday’s clash with Burnley. Eden Hazard was left out of Thursday’s match against BATE due to a back injury, but Mateo Kovacic did start the match and picked up a knock or two prior to being substituted in the second half.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored a hat-trick against BATE, but it’s likely that he settles for a place on the bench at minimum given that he completed the full 90 minutes and Ross Barkley did not play on Thursday.
For Burnley, their early season qualifying matches in the Europa League have taken its toll, as a number of players are struggling with injuries ahead of Sunday’s match. Robbie Brady has been absent from the lineup as of late and is likely to miss out against Chelsea.
Aaron Lennon was on the end of a bad tackle from Vincent Kompany last week against Manchester City, but due to illness, he’s also likely to be absent from Sunday’s match.
But Chelsea will still need to guard against the threat from the Burnley attack. It was last season that Sam Vokes earned Burnley a result at Stamford Bridge. Given Chelsea’s vulnerability at the back, particularly against teams that play very direct, Vokes could help Burnley to earn a much needed result on Sunday.
But Chelsea are likely to field the strongest 11 that they can, and it will be up to Burnley to match them in what should be a very tight contest.