Chelsea could hand summer signings N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi debuts against West Ham on Monday.
Midfielder Kante and striker Batshuayi joined from champions Leicester and French outfit Marseille respectively in big-money moves over the summer and could be in line for competitive debuts against the visiting Hammers in the first round of fixtures.
However, Batshuayi may have to settle for a place on the bench if new boss Antonio Conte opts to play Diego Costa as a lone forward.
There has been speculation Costa could move on during the current transfer window but Conte insists the former Atletico Madrid man has a big part to play in the season ahead.
He said: “I don’t like to speak about single players but I will make an exception. Diego is a great player. I know that he is a fantastic finisher but I think he can still improve a lot. I hope for this. I try to improve all of my players.
“Their past is not important to me and now, I am seeing a good attitude from Diego – to work and to improve in different situations.
“I am happy that Diego stays here to work with us. We know that we can improve through the work and the most important thing is that the players have put themselves into this idea. Diego can give a lot to this team and I am sure he will have a good season.”
Conte will be without defender Kurt Zouma for West Ham’s visit as he remains sidelined with a long-term knee injury.