West Brom v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 18th November, 2017
Venue: The Hawthorns
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

Our return from the last international break saw us lose to a Crystal Palace side who couldn’t win an argument before our game, this time back from the break its West Brom.
West Brom, like Palace, aren’t in a good place. With no win from nine games and just 10 points from 11 games, the Baggies are in the sort of form that saw them relegated in the 2005-06 season.
Chelsea meanwhile, come into the game off the back of a win against Manchester United before the break and will be carrying fond memories of this fixture last season. The Baggies can all too often be relied on to cause an upset though, so let’s hope memories of the Palace game are more prominent in our players’ minds.

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CHELSEA v Manchester United: Preview

Date: Sunday 5th November, 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 16:30 GMT

After a 3-0 defeat against Roma midweek in what was quite probably our worst performance under Antonio Conte to date, this afternoon’s game sees us back home against Mourinho’s Manchester United. Probably not the fixture we’d have wanted when we need to get back on track but it gives the red tops the opportunity for a few corny fireworks headlines.
Whilst we come into today’s game off the back of a dressing down from Roma, United supporters make the trip after a bit of a dressing down themselves. Not that a bit of criticism from the manager will bother them, they had a win in Europe midweek and sit second to City in the Premier League, which might explain the selective hearing.
You won’t hear them complain if he sends them out to ‘not lose’ against us today either – particularly if they win.

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Bournemouth v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 28th October, 2017
Venue: Vitality Stadium
Kick-off: 17:30 BST

After getting ourselves back to winning ways against Watford last weekend in the league and Everton midweek in the cup, today’s late game takes us to the Vitality Stadium.
Bournemouth might be hanging around the bottom of the table but they come into the game off the back of a win against Stoke, so could be on the upturn at the wrong time for us. Chelsea have already lost 3 times in their 9 opening games – as many as we’ve lost in two of the last four seasons but whilst today’s opponents have had a win against us in the last couple of years, we did beat them comfortably home and away last season.
We should watch out for Defoe though, as the only player to score in the Premier League against us for four different clubs already (Tottenham, West Ham, Sunderland and Portsmouth).

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s game, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says “The two wins in different competitions for us coming into this game have done massive things for our confidence. The Stoke game was a massive result in difficult conditions. The players showed a lot of traits that we’re going to need between now and the end of the season to lift ourselves out of our current position. That has been huge in building up momentum and performances have improved since the start of the season and hopefully that continues.”
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte meanwhile, says of today’s opponents “Their position in the table is not right. They played very well in a lot of games but sometimes they were very unlucky.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Bournemouth, Joshua King (back) is doubtful and Ryan Fraser will be monitored after a knock in midweek. Jermain Defoe (hamstring) is expected to return.
For Chelsea, N’Golo Kante and Victor Moses (both hamstring) remain out, Danny Drinkwater is expected to start on the bench.

TEAMS
BOURNEMOUTH (Possible line-up): Begovic; A.Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels; Ibe, Cook, Surman, Stanislas; King; Afobe
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Rudiger, Luiz, Cahill; Azpilicueta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Hazard, Morata

LAST SEASON
Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea (8 April 2017)

RECENT FORM
BOURNEMOUTH: LWLDLW
CHELSEA: WDWLLW

OTHER STUFF
~ Chelsea have won seven of nine league and cup meetings with Bournemouth.
~ Chelsea lost their first Premier League game against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge in December 2015, but have won the subsequent three meetings
~ Bournemouth’s only previous home win against Chelsea came in the second tier on 3 September 1988.
~ Bournemouth’s tally of seven points from nine games is their lowest at this stage of a Premier League season.
~ Bournemouth’s only previous Premier League home win against London opposition was against West Ham in March
~ Chelsea could lose back-to-back Premier League away games for the first time since 2015
~ Chelsea have recorded just eight shut-outs in 29 top-flight matches.
~ Eden Hazard has scored four goals in as many league games against Bournemouth

PREDICTIONS
BBC Sport: Bournemouth 0-2 Chelsea
Sky Sports: Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea
SportsMole: Bournemouth 2-3 Chelsea

CHELSEA v Watford: Preview

Date: 21st October 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 12:30 BST

We had a disaster against Palace last weekend and did our best to have another one when we threw away a 2-goal lead against Roma midweek, today it’s back home in the Premier League, with Watford the visitors.
The Hornets don’t have a great record against us, and it’s 18 years since their last win over us in the Premier League but they sit above us in the table going into today’s game after their best start in the Premier League to date. Their away form so far this season should also be noted, with 3 wins and a draw from four games.
As for us, we go into the game having lost our last 2 in the league, so a third will only ever lead to mass hysteria. We had a tough game midweek, with Luiz and Bakayoko left struggling with muscle problems and the gaping hole left by Kante’s stretched ever wider with each game. But it’s not the injuries taking their toll, or even the number of outgoings over the summer leaving us with a squad resembling a paddling pool in terms of depth, it’s the absence of big characters to take these games, and their team-mates by the scruff of the neck.
Whether Conte has pointed that out to them over the past few days or not, we’ll have to wait and see – just as long as he’s told them to play to the whistle rather than the clock against Silva’s late scorers!

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Crystal Palace v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 14th October, 2017
Venue: Selhurst Park
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

So we’re finally back from the international break and it didn’t come without a cost. We were already missing Morata and looked toothless against City, now the internationals have cost us Kante as well. Conte doesn’t seem particularly keen on starting Michy Batshuayi in games but has had plenty of time to reflect on how worn out Hazard was in our last game, so he should bite the bullet for this one.
As for our opponents today, Palace are goalless after seven games and have Benteke out injured, so it probably goes without saying they’ll put in a Barcelona-esque performance this afternoon.

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CHELSEA v Man City: Preview

Date: Saturday 30th September, 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 17:30 BST

After the manner in which we went about our midweek win at Atletico on Wednesday night, the more optimistic among us could be forgiven for being mildly confident ahead of this game. The result midweek and the performance that got us there, is undoubtedly one of the stand out games by an English team in Europe in recent years.
Our miserable opening day against Burnley and the hysterics that came after it have faded from memories, as quickly as Diego Costa, thanks to Alvaro Morata although an abject display against Arsenal – coincidentally, also after a good win in Europe – will be fresher in the minds of us realists.
Manchester City have had another strong start to the season, they’re unbeaten in 14 league games since losing to us in April and with five or more goals in three consecutive top-flight games, they’re scoring for fun right now.
Add to that Pep Guardiola’s seven games against us as a manager without a win (Super Cup on penalties aside), and he will make sure they throw everything they have at us today.

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Can Chelsea beat Manchester City on Saturday?

Chelsea start the weekend three points behind joint Premier League leaders Manchester City and Manchester United.

Our opening day defeat to Burnley following the dismissals of Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas had been an early hinder to the defence of our title.

A disappointing draw at home to Arsenal a fortnight ago was followed up by the 4-0 thrashing of Stoke City last weekend.

Our performance and 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night showed we’re back to the form we showed last season in running away with the Premier League title.

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Stoke v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 23rd September, 2017
Venue: bet365 stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

This afternoon’s game sees us take on a Stoke side with five points from five games so far this season and just three wins from their last 16 in the Premier League. Stoke also come into this game off the back of a midweek defeat to Bristol City in the League Cup.
Chelsea meanwhile had the luxury of resting players against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night and still coming away with a decent win. This did come after a less than inspiring scoreless draw against Arsenal last weekend though and with Atletico Madrid and Manchester City up for us next, we could do with getting back to the momentum we had before the international break.
Stoke won’t make it easy for us to do that and Alvaro Morata is likely to be subjected to the customary welcome from Mark Hughes’ side although with five reds in our last nine games, we’ll be the ones having to watch our backs in what’s likely to be a bumpy ride.

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CHELSEA v Arsenal: Preview

Date: Sunday 17th September, 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 13:30 BST

Today’s game sees us play host to an out of sorts Arsenal. They’ve had a couple of poor results in the league, most notably the thumping from Liverpool. It’s also six years since they’ve avoided defeat at Stamford Bridge, so predictably they’re being written off for this game.
The pessimists among us though, will remember they did beat Bournemouth last time out in the league and followed that up with a Europa win midweek. They’ve also beaten us in both the FA Cup and Charity Shield this calendar year, so this is by no means a foregone conclusion.

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Leicester v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 9th September, 2017
Venue: King Power Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

Thankfully another international break is behind us and it’s back to proper football this afternoon with a trip to the King Power Stadium.
Before the break, we looked like we might be getting into our stride, with wins against Spurs and Everton after a dodgy start against Burnley. Leicester meanwhile have had defeats to Arsenal and United either side of a win to Brighton, so they may have welcomed the break more than us.
On the plus side though, today could see the reunion of Drinkwater and Kante, as well as the return of Eden Hazard. Bring that on!

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