Jose Mourinho returns to manage Chelsea in the first game of his second spell at the club. The Blues will host newly promoted Hull City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, 18 August. All eyes will undoubtedly be on Mourinho and the reception he receives from Chelsea supporters. With the club's fans reacting angrily to Rafael Benitez last season, the appearance of a revered Mourinho will bring much needed unity to the team. Chelsea are one of the firm favourites to win the league this season. The last time they lifted the title was in the 2009/10 campaign, where they faced Hull City on the opening day.
Having won the Championship last year, Steve Bruce's Hull will be confident of their chances in the Premier League this season. They have been handed a difficult start, facing Chelsea and Manchester City away from home in their first three games. The news surrounding the club recently has centered on owner Assem Allam's decision to rename the team from Hull City AFC to Hull City Tigers. Although, in football terms, the name change is of little consequence, it has sparked off a fierce debate over whether tradition in English football is being lost in the sea of commercialism.
Transfer Market Activity
Chelsea, uncharacteristically, have had a low-key transfer window. They have made three signings in total: Andre Schurrle from Bayer Laverkusen, Mark Schwarzer from Fulham and Marco van Ginkel from Vitesse Arnhem. Schwarzer is unlikely to displace Petr Cech from the team but Shurrle and Van GInkel could be involved. With just over two weeks left in the transfer window, owner Roman Abramovich may still spend on a big signings, namely Wayne Rooney.
Hull have been considerably active in the off-season. The tigers have signed two midfield players from Tottenham Hotspur: Jake Livermore on loan and Tom Huddlestone for £5 million. Additionally, Bruce has brought Maynor Figueroa from Wigan Athletic, Ahmed Elmohamady from Sunderland and Steve Harper from Newcastle United to the club. All of these players are in contention to start.
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