Chelsea v Bournemouth Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
August 28, 2018
Stamford Bridge - Premier League
Chelsea look to protect their perfect record on Saturday as they host Bournemouth, unbeaten in their first three games, to Stamford Bridge. The Cherries' success make have come as some surprise, although is very much warranted with Eddie Howe's side starting strongly to win their first two games before a hard-fought draw to Everton.
Bournemouth pulled off a shock 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge when the sides met last year, with Junior Stanislas and Callum Wilson opening the scoring, before Nathan Ake scored a third against his old club. The victory marked the first time in six that Chelsea failed to beat the Cherries.
Maurizio Sarri may be tempted to rest Eden Hazard, after Chelsea's star-man played a full 90 minutes last week, with Pedro the most likely replacement. The coach has been unwilling to play the likes of Gary Cahill and Andres Cristensen, although might experiment with rotations at full back with Victor Moses and Andrea Zappacosta waiting for their first league starts.
Eddie Howe will have to do without right-back Adam Smith, who received a straight red card last weekend against Everton, potentially resulting in Ryan Fraser to deputise in the position, despite excelling at left-midfield this season. The manager is also without Junior Stanislas, but may have Jeremy Lerma available after the summer signing played midweek.
Chelsea v Bournemouth Preview and Predictions
If last week's performance against Newcastle gave an impression into Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea, fans will have a lot to look forward to this season. Away, against a resolute, organised and utterly ambitious-less opponent the Blues showed the ability to break the deadlock not once, but twice. Even so, the game was hardly the most thrilling, and a neutral will be glad that Bournemouth are unlikely to follow the Magpies lead.
The Cherries were amongst the least active over the summer transfer window, yet the stability that Eddie Howe has built around the club has outweighed the value of reinforcements. With a host of players suffering from injuries last season, it was difficult to judge the capabilities of the South Coast side, wheres now, with the full squad available, Bournemouth sit in sixth place in the league, level on points with Manchester City.
It is of course unlikely that they will continue in such a loft perch, however, the positive, attacking football that Howe encourages means that fans are unlikely to be disappointed this season. On Saturday, the manager is likely to field a widely similar XI to the side which beat Chelsea back in January, and players will draw confidence from this. Furthermore, the Cherries are unlikely to sit back and allow the home side to attack them, instead, going on the front foot themselves, and testing the Blues' shaky back line.
For all the positivity that Sarri has brought, he has yet to complete his side's transition from a back three to a four. David Luiz has looked especially off the pace at times, without the security of centre-backs on either side, whilst Marcus Alonso's habit of playing as a centre-forward when fielded at left-back is far more risky without a covering defender.
Even so, the Blues are able to boast a plethora of attacking talent, especially after Alvaro Morata broke his duck against Arsenal. If Bournemouth do come out and attack Chelsea, they are unlikely to roll over like they did under Antonio Conte.
Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals scored at 7/10
Both sides have conceded a goal per game this season, and could well be more open on Saturday.
Mateo Kovacic to score at 5/1
The Croation midfielder had a tough start to his Chelsea career against Newcastle, and will enjoy the space that Bournemouth will likely afford him.