Sunday, December 15, 2019

Prediction: Chelsea vs Burnley

Verdict: Chelsea win and under 3.5 goals

Best Odds: 21/20

Bookmaker: Bet365

Chelsea have been handed a major Premier League top four boost ahead of a pivotal Monday night clash against Burnley at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea

Starting with the hosts, although they may have gone about it the hard way last week, Chelsea’s 4-3 win over Slavia Prague saw the Blues book their spot in the semi-final of this year’s Europa League. With their sights firmly set on securing a return to the top four, the mood in Maurizio Sarri’s camp will be on a high following Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal all slipping up over the weekend. Sat just one point adrift of the Champions League positions and with the chance to climb as high as third on Monday night, a huge part of Chelsea’s recent success has been their performances at Stamford Bridge. Winning their last three matches in West London and scoring two or more goals in each of those victories, the former Napoli boss has seen his side enjoy a seven-match unbeaten run on home soil across all competitions. More impressive, the Blues are unbeaten at Stamford Bridge in any of their outings in 2019. Unsurprisingly, one man to watch on Monday night will be attacking talisman, Eden Hazard. The Belgian international has 16 Premier League goals this year and is looking to score for the fourth consecutive home games.

Team News

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard should be fit to face Burnley, having recovered from the knock sustained in Thursday’s Europa League win over Slavia Prague.

But defender Antonio Rudiger is expected to be absent again with a knee problem.

Burnley

As for the visitors, picking up a 2-0 win over Cardiff last week, it appears that Burnley could have saved their best performances for the back end of the season. With Sean Dyche’s side now enjoying a three-match winning run and holding an eight-point buffer over the relegation zone, the Clarets have all but secured another campaign in the top-flight. While another surprise victory over Chelsea on Monday would see Burnley win four consecutive Premier League games for the first time since a run of five a year ago, Dyche’s men have previously struggled when up against the former champions. The vistors have managed to record just a single victory over Chelsea in their last nine attempts, a run that stems all the way back to a League Cup defeat in November 2008. If Burnley are to extend their winning run and mount a late push for the top half, then fans in Lancashire will be looking for leading goalscorer Chris Wood to enjoy his bright run of form. The New Zealand international has now bagged three in his last two outings and has 11 across all competitions.

Team News

Burnley manager Sean Dyche will assess the fitness of Phil Bardsley, who has missed the past two games after cutting his leg on a table tennis table.

Peter Crouch, Aaron Lennon and Steven Defour remain sidelined.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Burnley have won just one of their nine Premier League meetings with Chelsea, losing six and drawing two.
  • In the reverse fixture Chelsea came away with a 4-0 victory.
  • Chelsea are on a six-match unbeaten home run in all competitions, winning five.
  • They have lost just one of their past 20 league matches at Stamford Bridge (W12, D7).
  • Chris Wood has scored an unrivalled 20 league goals for Burnley since the start of last season.

Conclusion

Although the mood in Burnley’s camp will be on a high following their trio of victories, Monday’s trip to Stamford Bridge could be an extremely tough test. Given Chelsea’s recent success in West London, coupled with picking up a 4-0 win when the two sides met in Lancashire, we’re backing Maurizio Sarri’s men to come away with the victory in Monday’s encounter.

Verdict: Chelsea win and under 3.5 goals

Best Odds: 21/20

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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