A look at Chelsea’s fixture list

The release of the fixture list usually signals the beginning of preparation towards a new season.

As a regular match-goer, it’s disappointing that crowds won’t be in stadia for much of the season. However, the fixture release remains exciting nonetheless.

Fixtures can often be defining with matches after European ties or tough congestion important factors in determining the final table.

Chelsea have made a few exciting additions to their starting XI and will be one to watch this season. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY NBC SPORTS.

Chelsea’s fixtures are no different, so here’s a look at how they could be positively or negatively hampered by the fixture computer generator.

First six

Following a kind-looking opening day visit to Brighton, Chelsea’s first meeting with a top-six rival comes on the second weekend of the season. Liverpool visit Stamford Bridge in a game which gives Lampard’s newly shaped squad the chance to prove its credentials.

A victory against the champions early on would be an enormous boost to Frank Lampard. A trip to West Brom is followed by home games versus Crystal Palace and Southampton.

After this, Old Trafford is the destination for Chelsea’s first away game against a big six side. Lampard will be desperate to avoid a repeat of the 4-0 defeat in his first game in charge and will have scores to settle. These first six fixtures could be a springboard for Lampard. The home game against Liverpool is the real test for his side.

Christmas

The Christmas period does not look especially kind for Chelsea. Between December 12 and January 2nd, Chelsea host West Ham, Aston Villa and Manchester City while facing difficult trips to Everton, Wolves and Arsenal. Results over this tricky period of the season are likely to be defining come the final weeks. Last season’s results around the Christmas period were inconsistent. These must improve if Lampard’s men are to get closer to the top two.

Cesar Azpilicueta says Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech can make immediate impacts on the Premier League after having the benefit of training with Chelsea last season. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY DIAZ HUB.

Arrivals such as Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner will be required to adapt quickly to this period of fixtures, which can often be tough for new arrivals from abroad. Christmas appears to be Chelsea’s most difficult run of fixtures.

The run-in

The fixture computer has handed Chelsea a run-in fraught with dangerous fixtures. A trip to Manchester City is clearly the biggest obstacle, with home games against Arsenal and Leicester in the last three also a tough ask. Fulham visit Stamford Bridge the week after a difficult game away at the London Stadium, a ground Chelsea have only won at once in five visits. Chelsea go to Villa Park on the final day. The run-in looks tough for Chelsea, with the trip to Manchester a game that provides potential danger to any momentum that they’ll look to gain as the season draws to a close.

Derbies

Tottenham visit Stamford Bridge in late-November, so it is unlikely that fans will be able to attend. As the home game which most Chelsea supporters look for first, this is a great disappointment. It could provide Jose Mourinho his best opportunity to gain what would be a sweet victory over his former club at Stamford Bridge. A Boxing Day trip to Arsenal is sure to spice up Christmas for many Chelsea fans, while the return fixture against Spurs in early-February will be eagerly anticipated. Chelsea host Arsenal in the third-last game, a match which could have more than just bragging rights at stake.

The important period in Chelsea’s season, however, could be the first six games. The fixture at home to Liverpool is sandwiched between four winnable games on paper. A positive result against last season’s champions could be the springboard for Lampard’s men to make serious improvements on 2019/20. Even so early on, I would highlight Liverpool at home as the standout fixture and the one which could have the biggest positive impact on Chelsea’s season.

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