Antonio Rudiger could expect to start against Burnley while Pedro is likely to miss their first game of the season due to an injury

Chelsea will begin their 2017/18 campaign at home to Burnley on Saturday with just 14 experienced players available. Blues boss Antonio Conte was not too happy about starting out the new season being plagued by injuries but the Italian manager still expects his squad to put up a strong fight.

Eden Hazard, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Pedro will have to sit this game out due to injuries while Victor Moses will have to serve a suspension. The fact that Moses will have to serve a one-match ban following his sending off in the FA Cup final, can come as good news for new arrival Rudiger from Roma.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Conte spoke to the media as his team prepared to begin defending the Premier League trophy.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea looks on prior to the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at The Hawthorns on May 12, 2017 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Tough challenge ahead? (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“Honestly, I’m pleased because we are working very well with the team and this group of players. Their commitment is incredible, even better than last season and I’m very happy because these players are working so hard. We are trying to improve.”

Speaking about the competitive nature of the Premier League, Conte added,”I don’t know if this season will be more difficult than last season. For sure, we are champions and we have to face every game in the right way. The other teams will try to put 120 per cent in against us so we have to pay great attention in every game.”

Gary Cahill seems to have earned Conte’s admiration as the manager admitted that he was the ‘natural choice’ to become club captain. Additionally, Alvaro Morata is expected to start against Burnley since Conte did mention that the player is improving and getting comfortable with the manager’s style of football.

Despite the lack of experienced players, Conte remains optimistic that the side will put up a convincing performance in their opening game.

As far as Burnley are concerned, Sean Dyche has no injury concerns and will travel with a full squad as they get ready to pay Stamford Bridge a visit for their first match of the season.

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