Monday, December 18, 2017

Prediction: Chelsea vs Burnley

Verdict: Burnley +1.5 Asian handicap

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: bet365

The opening game of the season comes at a bad time for Chelsea considering that the Premier League champions have yet to properly reinforce the squad. This is something that in-form Burnley will be looking to exploit and try to avoid defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea

Having led Chelsea to the Premier League trophy in style last season, manager Antonio Conte definitely expected strong backing from the club in the summer transfer window, but he has been left disappointed by their decisions. While he was the one who told Diego Costa to search for a new club, the Italian reportedly had no say in allowing Nemanja Matic to join title rivals Manchester United, who also got his primary target to replace Costa, Romelu Lukaku. Tiemoue Bakayoko was probably the only new recruit who was Conte’s first choice, as the same cannot be said for Alvaro Morata and Antonio Rudiger, who are clearly players with plenty of potential, but will struggle to live up to their hefty price tags. Chelsea desperately lack strength in depth to successfully compete on four fronts and nobody was surprised to see them lose the Community Shield match to Arsenal. Having also struggled throughout pre-season, the Blues will have to show serious improvement if they want to kick off the new campaign with a win.

Team News

Star striker Diego Costa is out of contention as he nears summer exit, while Victor Mosses misses out through suspension and Eden Hazard remains sidelined.

Burnley

Burnley have been bouncing between top two divisions of England’s league system in recent years, but they did well to survive previous Premier League campaign, finishing six points above the relegation zone. The Clarets were unable to keep hold of star players Michael Keane and Andre Gray, but at least secured very good deals for the two, before spending some of the cash on Jonathan Walters, Jack Cork and Phil Bardsley. Many expected Burnley to recruit few more quality footballers, but it appears that manager Sean Dyche doesn’t want to upset the balance of the squad as he rather opted for three seasoned Premier League footballers who should play important roles this season. The Clarets opted for weaker opposition in pre-season, but nonetheless did well to win four of five fixtures, defeating very good Celta Vigo side in final warm-up game. Burnley didn’t do too well on Premier League travels last term, losing 14 of 19 fixtures, but they did keep three clean sheets in last five of those games.

Team News

Manager Sean Dyche has no selection problems at the moment, with Cork, Walters and Bardsley all expected to start.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Chelsea won last 6 Premier League fixtures
  • The Blues won 15 of last 16 EPL matches at home
  • Burnley lost 14 of 19 games on the road last term
  • The Clarets kept three clean sheets in last five away EPL matches
  • Chelsea won in four of their six Premier League meetings (D2)

Conclusion

Chelsea were relentless at home last season, but they are not in the best shape at the moment and there are no doubts Eden Hazard will be sorely missed. Burnley, on the other hand, appear to be doing just fine at the moment and we can see them causing plenty of problems to their more illustrious opponents at Stamford Bridge.

Verdict: Burnley +1.5 Asian handicap

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nemanja Lazarevic


Working as editor-in-chief at Soccernews.com, Nemanja Lazarevic is responsible for organising and managing the team of writers to ensure the content produced on the site meets high industry standards and remains interesting to our readers. As our go-to guy for the football transfer news, he uses an extensive experience in the industry to dig up latest transfer stories from local sources.

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