JOSE MOURINHO has admitted his first league match back as Chelsea manager will be an emotional occasion – even though Hull City's Irish star David Meyler has vowed to spoil the party.
Steve Bruce's newly-promoted Tigers – likely to contain Ireland internationals Robbie Brady, Stephen Quinn, Paul McShane and Meyler in their ranks – will be Mourinho's first opponents at Stamford Bridge on August 17, before the Blues visit Manchester United at Old Trafford a week later.
Tigers midfielder Meyler insists they can pull off a shock.
He said: "I'm sure the manager will have us all fired up and ready to go for that opening game against Chelsea.
"Jose Mourinho will do the same with his players and they'll be hoping to win the league. It will be tough, but maybe we can spoil his party."
Mourinho said: "Starting the season at home is a great way for our supporters to show the players they are ready to be behind the team all the way, and at the same time it is a great way for the players to show how much they are motivated and committed.
"I am so happy to start at the Bridge, but at the same time Hull City is a team who were promoted from the Championship and they will have that spirit, even if now they are in the Premier League. So it is an emotional but a hard start."
Mourinho won all four of his opening league fixtures during his first spell as Chelsea manager but Manchester United's new boss David Moyes will get his season under way at Swansea, followed by Chelsea at home and then trips to Liverpool and Manchester City.
Former United star Quinton Fortune has claimed Mourinho should be more worried about the explosive showdown at Old Trafford than Moyes.
Fortune said: "Mourinho has been boasting about his record against United. He always brings it up.
"But this is a different manager, with a different style of play. If David Moyes brings the same desire and fighting spirit that he had at Everton I am sure Mourinho will find it tough."
Liverpool kick off their campaign at home to Stoke, with their new manager Mark Hughes. Former Reds defender Jamie Carragher believes a good start is vital for Brendan Rodgers' men.
He said: "I'm sure they will be looking to get three points and hopefully use that as a platform to push on.
"That's certainly what they need because Liverpool need to be doing a lot better in terms of challenging for the top four and getting back into the top four."