Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Prediction: Burnley vs Chelsea

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals 

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

Desperate to close the gap on the top of the Premier League table, Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea side will travel to Turf Moore on Sunday afternoon.

Burnley

Starting with Sunday’s hosts, while Burnley may have recorded their best Premier League finish last season and also managed to book their first taste of Europen football, it has been a sluggish start for Sean Dyche’s Clarets. Coming off the back of a 5-0 hammering away at Manchester City last weekend, Burnley also showed signs of a struggle during their 1-1 draw with leading relegation candidates Huddersfield a fortnight ago. Despite impressing with their defensive record last term, Dyche will be desperate to improve on what is becoming an increasingly leaky back line. With just one clean sheet in any competition so far this season, they also now hold the third worst defensive record in the Premier League. Although the Clarets will be confident of securing another top half finish, they do have a tendency to struggle when playing on a Sunday. They have been beaten in six of their last seven home Premier League games played on Sunday, losing each of the last four.

Team News

Burnley welcome back Robbie Brady for the first time since he suffered a knee tendon injury last December.

Ben Gibson has stepped up his comeback after a hernia problem but remains sidelined, while Aaron Lennon has a virus and could miss out.

Chelsea

As for the visitors, while Antonio Conte was unable to guide Chelsea to Champions League football last season, the Blues appear to be thriving under another Italian. After appointing former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri over the summer, the former Premier League Champions have only gone from strength to strength and are now the only team in England’s top tier yet to be beaten in any competition. Along with talisman Eden Hazard leading the goalscoring charts, Chelsea have been really showing their potential title credentials in the final third. Coming off the back of a 3-1 win over BATE in Thursday’s Europa League matchup, they now hold the third best-attacking stats in the Premier League and one man to watch for the visitors could be the recently reinstalled England international Ross Barkley. Enjoying a breakout year under Sarri, the former Everton midfielder now has two in his last two for the Blues and he could become the first Englishman to score in three consecutive top-flight games for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in February 2013.

Team News

Chelsea top scorer Eden Hazard is a fitness doubt after suffering a back injury against Manchester United.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is pushing for a start after scoring a hat-trick in the Blues’ Europa League win over BATE.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Chelsea’s only defeat in eight Premier League games against Burnley was by 3-2 at home on the opening day of last season (W5, D2).
  • Burnley have not beaten Chelsea at Turf Moor since a 3-0 second tier victory in April 1983.
  • Burnley have earned seven points from their last four games, one more than they accrued from their previous 11 league matches.
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in their opening nine top-flight games for only the fifth time, a run that includes their title-winning seasons of 2005-06 and 2014-15.
  • Maurizio Sarri could become the first Chelsea boss to remain unbeaten in his first 10 Premier League matches in charge.

Conclusion

On paper, Maurizio Sarri should be looking at Sunday’s matchup as the perfect opportunity to continue his unbeaten start to life in West London. While Burnley have been unable to beat Chelsea at Turf Moor since 1986, the previous meetings between the two sides do have a tendency to produce plenty of goals. With six of the last eight Premier League goals seeing over 2.5 goals after 90 minutes, we’re backing yet another high scoring encounter on Sunday afternoon.

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals 

Best Odds: 8/11

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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