Chelsea faces Bournemouth in the English Premier League on 27th December at Stamford Bridge. The hosts languish in eighth place in the league table, a massive 16 points off log leader Arsenal after just 14 fixtures. The Cherries ended a four-match losing streak with a win before the World Cup break to move three points clear of the relegation places. They’ve won three of their last five Premier League matches against Chelsea.
The Blues had a disastrous run of form prior to the 2022 World Cup. Having gone unbeaten in 10 matches after Graham Potter replaced the sacked Thomas Tuchel, they ended the first half of the season with three successive league defeats having drawn the two matches prior to that.
Potter won his first three league fixtures but that included a fortunate victory at Aston Villa who missed four ‘big chances’. A 0-0 draw at Brentford and a 1-1 draw at home with Man Utd followed. The last three performances have been truly alarming: a 4-1 loss at Brighton, a 1-0 home loss to Arsenal (with 0.11 xG from open play), and a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle with just five shots and 0.30 xG produced.
Chelsea Team News
Graham Potter is without N’Golo Kante due to injury whilst Wesley Fofana has suffered a setback in his return from a knee injury. Players who were involved in the World Cup like Thiago Silva, Mason Mount, and Raheem Sterling are all back training and should start. Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech played in the Third Place playoff on 19 December and may not be ready to start this match.
Armando Broja is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury and Ben Chilwell is not yet ready to return. Kai Havertz could lead the line and Lewis Hall could get another start at left wingback. Reece James is fit again after injury and could be involved at least as a substitute.
Anything less than a win would deepen what is already a crisis. Graham Potter would take any sort of victory regardless of the performance to get back to winning ways.
Chelsea will play on the front foot and try to dominate possession but they’ve looked predictable of late and very susceptible to being caught on the counter attack.
The Cherries sacked Scott Parker in just four games this season after one win and three defeats. Those losses came against Man City (4-0), Arsenal (3-0), and Liverpool (9-0). An expected improvement followed with some better fixtures as Gary O’Neil took over. A six-match unbeaten run followed, beating Nottingham Forest and Leicester and drawing four times.
After giving up two leads to draw 2-2 at Fulham, Bournemouth lost four matches in a row. They led 2-0 vs Spurs at home before losing 3-2 and lead 3-1 at Leeds before losing 4-3. They rounded off the pre-World Cup period with a 4-1 League Cup win at home against Everton before winning 3-0 against the Toffees in the league. In midweek, the Cherries lost 1-0 to Newcastle post-World Cup to be knocked out of the Carabao Cup.
Bournemouth Team News
Coach Gary O’Neil stated that a “nasty virus” has affected his squad and there are several doubtful players for the trip to Stamford Bridge. Amongst those affected after Marcus Tavernier, Jefferson Lerma and Ryan Fredericks. With six days after playing in the Carabao Cup, it should largely have dissipated by the time they face Chelsea.
Defender Lloyd Kelly is back in training after an ankle injury but this match comes too soon for David Brooks after his health problems. Kieffer Moore and Chris Mepham (both Wales) were the only Cherries players on World Cup duty and both started the defeat to Newcastle in midweek.
Bournemouth are not a defensive side and six of their last nine have seen three or more goals in the match. They will look to take the game to Chelsea, likely in a 4-4-2 system with Dominic Solanke up top alongside Kieffer Moore.
They would take a draw from this match without a doubt but won’t play for a point from the first whistle.
Chelsea are winless in 5 PL matches (DDLLL)
Chelsea have lost just once in 10 home PL matches (W5, D4)
Chelsea have seen Both Teams to Score in 7 of their last 9 home matches (PL)
Bournemouth have lost 4 of their last 5 PL matches
Bournemouth have conceded 32 goals, most in the PL this season
Bournemouth have won 3 of their last 5 PL matches against Chelsea
The Cherries are a bogey team for Chelsea and face the Blues at a good time. Potter’s side should be able to squeeze a victory against the league’s worst defence but it’s not a given at all.
Best Bet: Both Teams to Score at 1.95
Value Bet: Chelsea win and Both Teams to Score at 3.20
Multiplier Leg: Chelsea/Draw double chance + over 2.5 goals at 1.83