After booking their place in the knockout rounds of the Champions League in midweek, attention turns back to the Premier League. As Chelsea look to get back to winning ways following a poor display at Goodison Park last week. This week the Blues are at home facing a Bournemouth team who were routed by three goals to nil by the Premier League leaders Liverpool last week.
With the always testing Christmas period on the horizon, it is important for Chelsea to head back to winning ways after losing three in four league games. Losses to Manchester City, West Ham and most recently, Everton have seen Chelsea’s fourth position come under threat from the likes of Manchester United, Spurs and Wolves.
However, they still hold a five point lead and will be looking to extend the gap over the winter period. Especially considering Bournemouth’s poor form; the Cherries have lost five in a row since beating Manchester United over a month ago. Chelsea will look to capitalise with another home win here.
He may just have signed a new long term contract at the club, but Fikayo Tomori was missing from the matchday squad against Lille and he and Olivier Giroud are doubts to be fit for this one. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has stepped up his recovery, but no return date has been confirmed as he is likely to return early in the new year.
Turning our attention to the opponents, Bournemouth are having a major injury crisis at the moment. None more than eight first team players are injured including the likes of Charlie Daniels, David Brooks, Josh King and Steve Cook. To make matters worse, Nathan Aké limped off with a hamstring injury in the defeat to Liverpool meaning they will be extremely depleted when they travel to Stamford Bridge on saturday.
Antonio Rudiger will be looking to make his mark again, following his first 90 minutes of the season in the victory against Lille in midweek. The German international has been plagued by injuries since last season and it was surprising to see him start in what was a big game on Tuesday night. He will be looking to bring some experience and leadership to this Chelsea backline that has performed well in spells this season.
Chelsea will be anxious about what Bournemouth can offer, as the Cherries put Maurizio Sarri’s men to the sword last season at Dean Court winning by four goals to nil. However, without many key players, it means Chelsea are overwhelming favourites to win this one and win well considering the lack of Daniels, Cook and former Blue Aké. The lineup should see Reece James return in what might be the only change from midweek.
The Blues should be victorious as they chase their 10th win in the league, with opportunities likely to be forthcoming on saturday the likes of Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic, Willian and Mason Mount will all be looking to be clinical.
Fans will want to see goals, and killing the game needs to be of paramount importance following two wins in a row by a 2-1 scoreline making for a particularly nervy watch. The Blues have only scored more than two goals in a match this season in 26 outings and will be looking to take advantage of a depleted Bournemouth to come away with three points.