Chelsea v Cardiff City. Match preview

Chelsea v Cardiff City
Stamford Bridge
Saturday 15th September 2018, ko 3:00pm.

Early team news:

Maurizio Sarri will make a late decision on the fitness of players who returned from international duty. Cesc Fabregas is returning to full fitness but won't be ready to play this weekend.

Emerson Palmieri, Davide Zappacosta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have had knocks which could see them miss out.

Cardiff City's Josh Murphy (hamstring) and Aron Gunnarsson (knee) are back in the squad for the trip to Stamford Bridge. However, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing remains a few weeks away from returning with a knee injury.

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The managers

Maurizio Sarri: "My feeling is that we are not a very solid team in the defensive phase. We can improve and that's what I feel in training."

Neil Warnock: "The top sides always have a lot of possession so we're going to be under the cosh for a long time, but we've got to find a remedy. We've earned the right to play against teams like Chelsea.

"It'll be interesting to see how we cope at a packed Stamford Bridge. It's one where we've got to get the best out of what we've got. I don't want to go there and not have a shot on target, but we've got to have players at their best abilities to give them a game."

 

Match stats

  • Chelsea have won 10 of their last 12 league meetings with Cardiff (D1 L1), including both previous Premier League meetings in the 2013-14 campaign.
  • Chelsea have lost just one of their last 51 home Premier League games against newly-promoted opposition (W42 D8 L1), with that defeat coming against Bournemouth in December 2015.
  • Cardiff are winless in six matches in all competitions (W0 D3 L3), their worst run under Warnock; they last went on a longer run without victory between January and February 2015 (eight games).
  • Chelsea have won each of their opening four Premier League games to a season for the sixth time (also 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2014-15), at least twice more than any other side in the competition's history.
  • Warnock is without a win in 10 Premier League games (W0 D5 L5) - he has never gone 11 consecutive Premier League matches without victory.
  • Maurizio Sarri could become the fourth manager in Premier League history to win his first five games in the competition after Carlo Ancelotti (6), Pep Guardiola (6) and Craig Shakespeare (5).
  • Chelsea attacker Pedro, who could make his 100th Premier League appearance in this match, has scored three goals his last four league games, as many as in his previous 26 combined.
  • Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Chelsea's Marcos Alonso has been directly involved in more league goals than any other defender in Europe's big five leagues (14 goals, 7 assists).


The Officials:

Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Andy Halliday
Fourth official: Tim Robinson