Chelsea travel to struggling Bournemouth in the Premier League this weekend as they continue their push towards a top four finish, though the club will be looking to bounce back following a humbling Champions League loss to Bayern Munich in midweek.
Here is all you need to know about Saturday’s clash at the Vitality Stadium…
Having shown signs of a resurgence with back-to-back wins over fellow strugglers Brighton and Aston Villa, it is back to reality for Eddie Howe and Bournemouth following consecutive defeats in recent weeks.
Last weekend’s 3-0 defeat at Burnley was marred by VAR controversy, though that will do little to raise the optimism of the Cherries’ fans who have seen their side drop to within just two points of the Premier League’s relegation places.
Only West Ham have taken less points than Bournemouth over their past eight league fixtures, and results must improve quickly if they are to avoid a drop into the second tier after five seasons at this level.
The club face Chelsea, Liverpool, Wolves and Manchester United in their next six fixtures, a run of games that is likely to increase the worry around the club at present.
Chelsea got their top-four push back on track with a huge victory over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge last weekend, Frank Lampard’s side extending their advantage over their nearest challengers to three points.
The west London side continue to produce indifferent results and performances, however, with that victory over Spurs their only win in their past five league matches.
Lampard’s side were also humbled in embarrassing fashion by German giants Bayern Munich in midweek, and the Chelsea boss will need to galvanise his players ahead of their return to Premier League action.
Olivier Giroud came in from the wilderness to both score and impress against Spurs last time out, though it remains to be seen whether the veteran forward retains his place following Tammy Abraham’s return to fitness.
Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth, 14th December 2019
Bournemouth have proven to be somewhat of a bogey team for Chelsea in recent years, winning three of the past five fixtures between the two clubs in all competitions including their earlier meeting in the Premier League this season.
The Cherries headed to Stamford Bridge on the back of a five-game losing run, but their injury-hit squad would produce a shock result as Dan Gosling’s improvised effort secure three valuable points late on.
Bournemouth would also win the club’s most recent clash at the Vitality Stadium, Josh King scoring twice as Howe’s side thrashed Chelsea 4-0 on the South Coast last season.
Predicted Line ups
Bournemouth: Ramsdale; Smith, Cook, Ake, Rico; Surman, Gosling, Billing; H.Wilson, King, C.Wilson
Chelsea: Caballero; James, Christensen, Rudiger, Azpilicueta; Jorginho, Kovacic, Barkley; Mount, Willian, Abraham
Who is the referee?
How can I watch Bournemouth v Chelsea?
US readers can watch the game on NBCSN.
What time is kick off?
Bournemouth – 15/4
Draw – 11/4
Chelsea – 3/4