Monday 19 February 2018

David Meyler hoping to shock Mourinho's Chelsea on opening day

David Meyler is looking to shock Chelsea in August
David Meyler is looking to shock Chelsea in August

Martyn Ziegler

Jose Mourinho has admitted it will be an emotional occasion for his first match back as Chelsea manager to be at Stamford Bridge - even though visitors Hull City have vowed to do spoil his return party.

Steve Bruce's newly-promoted Hull side maybe Mourinho's first opponents on August 17 but his second will be Manchester United at Old Trafford a week later.

Mourinho told the club's website: "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 Hull's Republic of Ireland midfielder David 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."

Manchester United's new boss David Moyes will get his season underway 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 second weekend showdown at Old Trafford than Moyes.

Mourinho lost just once in the Premier League to United, and defeated them in the Champions League with Real Madrid this season, and has never been beaten by Moyes.

But Fortune told MUTV: "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.

"He knew Sir Alex Ferguson for many years. He knows what type of team to play against him. It is a different ball game now."

Liverpool kick off their campaign at home to Stoke, with their new manager Mark Hughes. Former Reds defender Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports News a good start was vital for Brendan Rodgers' men.

He said: "They'll look at that Stoke game - Mark Hughes' first game as well, so they'll be desperate to get off to a good start - it's a good game for Liverpool. I'm sure they will be looking to get three points and hopefully use that as a platform to push on.

"The first five or six fixtures look a lot easier, on paper, than they were last season. £

"Arsenal and Manchester City were the first two home games last year; obviously there's a big game in there with Manchester United, the third game.

"In the first couple of games, hopefully they can get three, four, maybe six points and get off to a good start.

"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. They really need to make a good start."

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