Chelsea vs Cardiff City: Match preview and predictions| Premier League 2018-19
Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea host Cardiff City as they look to strengthen their perfect start to the season. Only Liverpool and Watford have a 100% record in the league so far, apart from Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Cardiff will be hoping to churn out a result against the Blues as even a single point away at Stamford Bridge would be a remarkable result for the Bluebirds.
Chelsea vs Cardiff City: Kick-Off information
Date: 14 September
Kickoff: 15:00 (local time), 19:30 (IST)
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Cesc Fabregas is not yet match fit, whereas Emerson Palmieri, Davide Zappacosta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have endured knocks.
Warnock will receive a huge boost as Josh Murphy and Aron Gunnarsson are expected to return to the matchday squad. However, this game comes too early for Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who is out with a knee injury.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Hazard, Pedro, Morata
Cardiff City (4-4-2): Etheridge, Bennett, Bamba, Morrison, Manga, Hoilett, Arter, Ralls, Camarasa, Ward, Reid
Last five matches (in all competitions)
Cardiff City: L-L-D-D-L
Chelsea wins: 18
Cardiff City wins: 15
A lot has been spoken about Eden Hazard, Jorginho and Pedro's goal-scoring touch this season since the arrival of Sarri. However, you can never keep Marcos Alonso out of the action. Under this new system, he plays in a narrower position, often occupying spaces in the box and enjoying more touches infield.
Since the start of the 2016/17 season, he has directly been involved in more league goals than any other defender in Europe's big five leagues, with 14 goals and seven assists.
Souleymane Bamba is one to watch out for. Not only is he brilliant in terms of positional sense, but also in the physical and technical aspect of the defensive game. Also to mention, he will be a threat to the opposition during set-pieces, something that Cardiff will heavily rely on to get their goals.
Very few people would place their bets on the newcomers this weekend, especially with the fact that Neil Warnock is winless in his last 10 PL games. The visitors are also suffering from their worst run of form under their manager - without a win in six matches.
However, they will sit deep, get bodies to defend and try to hit Chelsea on the counter. Expect a couple of goals from the home side along with huge amounts of possession.