Friday, April 10, 2020

Prediction: Bournemouth vs Chelsea

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to bounce back from their European heartbreak in midweek, Chelsea will hope to extend their top-four buffer when they make the trip to the Vitality on Saturday afternoon.

Bournemouth

Starting with the hosts, while back-to-back victories against Brighton and Aston Villa may have improved the mood around the Vitality at the start of the month, Bournemouth have since come crashing back down to earth. Hit with a 3-0 hammering away at Turf Moor last weekend in the midst of more VAR controversy, Eddie Howe’s side have lost six of their last eight Premier League appearances. Now holding just a two-point buffer from being dragged back into the bottom-three, the Cherries’ points tally of 26 out of 27 matches is their lowest return at this stage of a top-flight season. If Bournemouth are to pull off a shock upset this weekend, then there is no doubt that the hosts must find some much-needed resolve at the back They have managed to kept just one clean sheet in 16 league matches, a run that stems back to December. While Howe’s side might be in the midst of another sluggish patch, fans around the South Coast will take some solace from their side’s eye-catching record against Saturday’s guests. Including landing a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge back in December, Bournemouth have won three of the past four Premier League meetings against the Blues.

Team News

Bournemouth welcome back defender Nathan Ake, who missed the defeat at Burnley after sustaining a kick to the head in training.

Midfielder Jefferson Lerma is also available following a rib problem.

Chelsea

As for the visitors, blown away by Bayern Munich on Tuesday night and hit with what was a 3-0 hammering at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have continued to show some worrying inconsistencies. Despite picking up a 2-1 win over London rivals Tottenham last weekend, Frank Lampard’s side have won just one of their last four matches across all competitions and hold just a three-point buffer from losing their top-four status. In fact, if the former champions do pick up three points at the Vitality this weekend, this would be the first time since November that the Blues have landed back-to-back Premier League victories. Also yet to record a top-flight win outside of West London since opening the New Year, the former England midfielder could be calling on Olivier Giroud to lead their charge on Saturday. Finding the net against Spurs last weekend, the French striker has now played his way into Lampard’s starting XI and has 10 goals and four assists in his last 14 starts for Chelsea, although 10 of those appearances have come in European games.

Team News

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante will miss a third match with the muscular injury that forced him off in the defeat against Manchester United.

Winger Callum Hudson-Odoi could return from a hamstring issue but forward Tammy Abraham remains out.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Including picking up a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge back in December, the Cherries have won three of their last four matches against Chelsea.
  • However, Bournemouth have recorded only three Premier League wins in 16 fixtures, losing 12 of those contests.
  • Chelsea have failed to win any of their three Premier League away fixtures since opening the New Year.
  • The Cherries have recorded just a sole clean sheet in 16 league matches.
  • Nine of Chelsea’s last 11 away matches have seen both teams find the net by full-time.

Conclusion

While Chelsea might open Saturday’s contest as a favorite with the bookmakers, there is no doubt that the Cherries will be fancying an upset on the South Coast. Winning three of their last four meetings against Frank Lampard’s side, the Vitality could produce a lively encounter at both ends this weekend. With both sides in the midst of a sluggish Premier League patch and nine of Chelsea’s last 11 matches away from Stamford Bridge seeing both teams find the net, we’re backing a similar outcome on Saturday.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 7/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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