Blues manager Jose Mourinho had last week refused to reveal which of the two internationals would start the clash at Turf Moor, but his team-sheet showed it was young Belgian Courtois who had got the nod to make his debut ahead of Czech veteran Cech, who was named among the substitutes.

Apart from injury absences, Cech had been Chelsea's number one since joining the west London club from French side Rennes at the start of Mourinho's first spell in charge in 2004.

But the 32-year-old looked shaky at times last season and the writing was on the wall when Mourinho opted to keep Courtois in his squad this season after he had spent the last three years on loan at Atletico Madrid.

Courtois was in superb form last term, helping Atletico win the Spanish league title and reach the Champions League final, a run which included a semi-final win over his parent club Chelsea.

The 22-year-old, who signed for Chelsea from Genk in 2011, will now get the chance to cement his place as the Blues' keeper for the forseeable future, while Cech's demotion will inevitably lead to speculation about how long he will be willing to stay as a back-up.

"Obviously a goalkeeper is not a player you are changing match after match, you must give a bit of stability, but this is about performances," Mourinho said.

"Ten years ago I had a very difficult decision to make when you have Carlo Cudicini giving fantastic performances in Chelsea's goal for many years and I made a decision for Petr in 2004-05 because I had in my hands a keeper who I thought could be in Chelsea's goal for many years.

"The situation is similar. We have to think about the future of the club and made a decision to give the goal to Courtois. But I feel so comfortable and so safe having these two goalkeepers with us."