Chelsea vs. Hull City: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
The opening weekend of the new Premier League campaign continues with a matchup between title contender Chelsea and Hull City, one of the promoted clubs. It's a golden opportunity for the Blues to get started on a winning note at home.
Chelsea finished a distant third last season, 14 points off the pace set by Manchester United. Yet, the return of manager Jose Mourinho and some upgrades to the attack have expectations on the rise at Stamford Bridge. A strong start will bolster the club's championship hopes.
The focus for Hull City is completely different. The Tigers simply want to find a way to avoid relegation so they can continue to build and potentially become a mainstay in the top flight. Any result on the road against an elite club throughout the season would be a bonus.
What's your prediction for the opening clash?
With that in mind, let's check out all the key information for each side's league opener, examine some players to watch and make a match prediction.
Where: Stamford Bridge in London, England
When: Sunday, Aug. 18 at 11 a.m. ET (4 p.m. BST)
Watch: NBC Sports Network
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Chelsea Player to Watch: Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard had no problem making the jump to the Premier League after several successful seasons with Lille. The 22-year-old winger scored 13 goals and tallied 25 assists in 62 matches across all competitions to help pace the Chelsea attack.
Impressively, he was able to have such a successful debut campaign despite Chelsea's striker struggles, which means opponents were able to key in on slowing him down. He still found ways to make a major impact on matches, which is the sign of a star.
With even more talent around him this season, Hazard is in line to take another step forward, a scary thought for defenders around the Premier League. He should have enough space to operate against Hull City. Watch him work his magic.
Hull City Player to Watch: Robert Koren
One of the most important things for promoted clubs is getting settled in the Premier League quickly. It's a big jump, and the last thing Hull City need is an early losing streak to put them in a hole. Having a veteran leader like Robert Koren should help.
The 32-year-old captain previously played in the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion. He also has plenty of experience at the international level. So he's just about seen it all during his career and should be able to help the club make progress pretty quickly.
Aside from his role as a leader, the midfielder is also a critical piece of the club's attack. A playmaker with great vision, it will be his job to spearhead counterattacks, which are going to be vital since other sides, including Chelsea, are likely to control possession against the Tigers.
Key Matchup to Watch: Blues' attack vs. Tigers' back line
Chelsea waited for Fernando Torres to find some level on consistency. It didn't happen. The striker remained frustratingly inconsistent, and it stopped the Blues' attack from reaching an elite level. They hope the added depth will make that less of an issue.
How many goals will Chelsea score vs. Hull City?
Romelu Lukaku returns from a successful loan stint with West Brom, and Andre Schurrle was added after some impressive seasons with Bayer Leverkusen. Add in the club's terrific midfield and Chelsea should have no problem producing goals this term.
For Hull City, finding a way to slow down Premier League attacks is key to surviving what's likely going to become a relegation battle. James Chester and Co. must step up and provide stability at the back, but it's probably going to take some time, and Chelsea will take advantage.
Chelsea 3, Hull City 0
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