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Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea: Odds, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IAugust 10, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07:  Eden Hazard of Chelsea in action during the pre-season friendly match between Chelsea and Lyon at Stamford Bridge on August 7, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Chelsea kick off their 2018/19 Premier League campaign with a trip to the John Smith's Stadium to take on Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

New manager Maurizio Sarri will take charge of the Blues for the first time in England's top flight. He faces a Terriers side that finished 16th in the table last season.

The campaign was Huddersfield's first in the Premier League. They will be looking to consolidate their position in the division this time around.

Chelsea are favourites to win but will need no reminding they were stunned 3-2 by Burnley on the opening day of last season. The Blues were also comfortably beaten by Manchester City in the 2018 Community Shield on Sunday.

     

Odds

Huddersfield: 23-5

Chelsea: 61-100

Draw: 53-20

All odds, per OddsShark. Odds accurate at the time of writing.

       

Date: Saturday, August 11

Time: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET

TV Info: NBCSN (U.S.)

Live Stream: NBCSports.com (U.S.)

     

Preview

Chelsea's Italian head coach Maurizio Sarri gestures from the touchline during the English FA Community Shield football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in north London on August 5, 2018. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP) / NOT FOR
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

It's been a summer of big change at Stamford Bridge. Manager Antonio Conte has been replaced by Sarri, and the club have spent heavily on midfielder Jorginho and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. 

The 23-year-old has signed from Athletic Bilbao and cost the Blues £71.6 million, per Michael Hincks at Sky Sports.

It's a world-record fee for a goalkeeper who should go straight into the first team. He will have to adapt quickly to a new country and a new league.

Football writer Graham Ruthven offered his view:

Graham Ruthven @grahamruthven

Watched Kepa a few times. He's clearly got talent, but still very raw. Not at the level De Gea was when he joined MUFC and Chelsea fans should expect a few similar early struggles. But he's arguably the best young GK in Europe. He'll come good. Patience.

Croatia international midfielder Mateo Kovacic has also arrived from Real Madrid on loan as part of the deal to take Courtois to the Santiago Bernabeu

Chelsea's best bit of business may be keeping Eden Hazard at the club. The Belgian is the team's talisman and had emerged as a transfer target for Real Madrid, per Sam Wallace at the Daily Telegraph. However, with Premier League players still able to leave their clubs for La Liga until 11:59 p.m. CET on August 31, he could still depart.

Striker Olivier Giroud explained the importance of keeping hold of Hazard, per Simon Johnson at the Evening Standard:

Simon Johnson @sjstandardsport

More #Giroud...this time on #Hazard staying at #cfc: "Is it a boost? Yes. He had a very good World Cup and obviously he is a very special player. We want to keep him at Chelsea. it's a great feeling to play with this kind of player."

Sarri has a reputation for creating exciting, attacking teams, and much will be expected of the Blues under their new manager.

He has said his team may not be at full strength for their opening match:

Chelsea FC @ChelseaFC

Sarri on his team against Huddersfield, is it too early for the World Cup players? 'Yes I think so, especially for all of them.' #CFCvLyon

Chelsea's defeat to Manchester City highlighted the strength of Pep Guardiola's side, who are strong favourites to retain their Premier League crown. The Blues can ill-afford a slow start to the season if they are to challenge the Citizens for the title.

Huddersfield were largely written off at the start of last season but surprised many by staying up and achieving some excellent results. The Terriers confirmed their Premier League status with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their penultimate match of the campaign.

It looks like being another tough season for the club even though they have added to their squad by bringing in Ramadan Sobhi, Adama Diakhaby and Terence Kongolo on a permanent deal.

Freelance writer Huw Davies expects them to struggle:

Huw Davies @thehuwdavies

@TMortimerFtbl I definitely think they'll be in the bottom four – the question is bottom three. They could well go down. Their defensive stats were pretty good last season, though, and keeping Kongolo is big. You're right that their attacking signings aren't inspiring, but Wagner's very good.

Manager David Wagner has done a brilliant job since taking over. He kept the team in the Championship in his first season before winning promotion in the following campaign.

Keeping the club in the Premier League again looks another difficult challenge. The team's defensive organisation is their strength, but they may struggle to score the goals required to keep them in the top flight.

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