Double Gameweek 1 Confirmed for Chelsea and Villa

The Premier League have this afternoon confirmed both Chelsea and Aston Villa will now start the season with a double Gameweek 1. With the Blues set to face Bayern Munich in the Uefa Super Cup Final on Friday August 30, their home game against Villa, which was initially scheduled for Saturday August 30, has now been shifted to Wednesday August 21.

This news is set to bring the Blues assets firmly onto our Fantasy radars, bearing in mind Jose Mourinho’s side also entertain Hull City on the opening weekend of the new season. Huge investment is now expected to come Chelsea’s way, though Fantasy managers will be mulling over a couple of recent Mourinho comments as they assess just who to splash their budgets on.

The Blues boss admitted Spain’s match in Ecuador, which takes place on August 14, may be a factor in his line-up for the Tigers fixture – something to consider when assessing the likes of Juan Mata, Cesar Azpilicueta and Fernando Torres for our starting XI:

“The players who go for their national teams two days before the opening of the Premier League, it depends a lot on that. Some have to go to Ecuador and come back and arrive in London on Saturday without having slept after a 15-hour flight to train on Saturday morning. If a player plays for England on Wednesday against Scotland, plays for 45 minutes at Wembley and then an hour after the game he is at home in Cobham sleeping, he is in a better condition to play. The team will be decided game after game and week after week. I will have to think about two or three matches at the same time.”

Only yesterday, Mourinho also revealed he will be a little more cautious with Frank Lampard’s game time this term. As mentioned in this morning’s Friendlies Round Up, the veteran midfielder is unlikely to one of the “untouchables” this time around as his manager looks to rest him more often.

The comments perhaps strengthen Eden Hazard’s prospects as the Belgian looks to replicate his start to the previous season, which produced double figures in both his double Gameweek 1 appearances. While loading up on Chelsea looks a viable tactic, a trip to United in Gameweek 2, followed by a blank fixture the following week, also has to be factored into the equation.

For Villa, though, the appeal of a double is significantly lessened, bearing in mind they travel to Arsenal prior to the Stamford Bridge showdown – those eyeing up Christian Benteke, for example, may be a little cautious given the fixtures, though the uncertainty surrounding the Chelsea forwards certainly indicates the Belgian looks the most nailed-on of any double Gameweek frontline option.

We’ll have more on the two sides in upcoming Scouting the Doubles articles – for now, though, this is just a heads-up.

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