Saturday, May 25, 2024

Prediction: Bournemouth vs Chelsea

Verdict: Draw and both teams to score
Best Odds: 4/1
Bookmaker: Bet365

Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea continue the defence of their title on Saturday night as travel to the Vitality Stadium to tussle with Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth.

The Blues currently sit fourth in the table and a win would go a long way in securing their position in the top-four and put a somewhat difficult few weeks firmly behind them. The Cherries meanwhile, will hope to exploit Chelsea’s problems so far this season and clamber out of the relegation zone for the first time this campaign.

Bournemouth

The Cherries welcome the champions to Dean Court aiming to notch back-to-back league for only the second time since April. Bournemouth have found it difficult this season too and have only managed to win two games all season, hence why they are currently languishing in the Premier League relegation zone. The team have only managed to find the net a disappointing six times in nine games, indicating considerable problems in the final third. Their defence has not actually been too bad so far this campaign though; their opponents have only found the net 13 times against the Cherries so far. This amount is the best in the bottom half of the Premier League.

Bournemouth have as well shown some promising signs of recovery in recent weeks having beaten Stoke City 2-1 last time out and toiling to a hard-earned point against Leicester City in their last home game. They will have to defend a lot more resolutely at home though if they are to get anything out of the champions. The Cherries have only kept three clean sheets in their 15 home league games, conceding 25 goals in the process.

Team News

Eddie Howe has a difficult job this weekend with numerous injury problems piling up. However, the Englishman is afforded some solace with a couple of key players looking close to returns. Long-term absentees Adam Federici and Tyrone Mings remain out with a knee injury and back problem respectively. Brad Smith has also been ruled out for the clash with Chelsea.

Attacking trio Jermain Defoe, Joshua King and Ryan Fraser could be involved if they recover in time for Saturday evening’s game.

Chelsea

Coming into the clash on the South Coast, Antonio Conte’s men appear to have got back on track following a few disappointing results. The Blues have won their last two matches, the last victory in the Premier League coming in the form of a 4-2 win over Watford at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea also followed that up by progressing to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup by beating Everton 2-1 at home. Before that though, they lost two consecutive games in the league as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City before a shock 2-1 loss at Selhurst Park to bottom club Crystal Palace.

The Blues however do tend to enjoy their travels in general, despite the defeat to Roy Hodgson’s relegation-threatened Eagles. The champions have only lost three out of their last 20 games on the road. Prior to the loss, they even managed to win five consecutive away clashes, scoring 12 goals and only conceding two. The Blues seem more than capable of finding the back of the net also having only netted less goals than Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

Team News

Antonio Conte still has key midfielder N’Golo Kante unavailable for selection because of a thigh injury. The Frenchman is hoped to return in time for Chelsea’s trip to Rome. Wide-man Victor Moses is also missing due to a similar complaint. Summer signing Danny Drinkwater could be included in the squad after making his Chelsea debut against Everton on Tuesday evening.

Key Facts to Consider

  • Chelsea have the far better record between the two (W7, D0, L2)
  • The Blues have only ever lost once on their travels against the Cherries, that coming back in September 1988
  • The last clash at the Vitality Stadium ended 3-1 to Chelsea
  • The Londoners have scored ten goals in their last three games against the Cherries
  • The hosts currently sit in the Premier League relegation zone but could jump to 13th with a win

Conclusion

Whilst Bournemouth have endured a tricky start to the 2017/18 season, Antonio Conte is under no illusions how difficult it could be against the Cherries. The tenacity of the former Championship club could again come to the fore and a draw could very easily be produced at the Vitality Stadium.

Regardless of Bournemouth’s poor record against their visitors, they will have to end that poor run relatively soon. Both teams are likely to score on Saturday evening.

Verdict: Draw and both teams to score
Best Odds: 4/1
Bookmaker: Bet365

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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