CHELSEA v Bournemouth: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 5 December
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT

Chelsea looked a lot better last weekend to earn a draw away to the apparently on form Tottenham. This week it’s back at home with Bournemouth the visitors as we try to get a bit of momentum going in our season. What we lacked last week was a clinical finisher and as we know, Costa was amusing himself on the bench throwing his bib about. Of course, that would only have been more apt if it had been his dummy. This week, we’re to assume that little tantrum has got him his own way so we’ll just have to hope he’s got it out of his system and he comes back fit and ready to put in a decent shift.
As for our opponents, I have to admit I was impressed with their persistence against Everton last weekend. Our players would do well to remember our visitors won’t be coming to Stamford Bridge to roll over

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s late game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho on our form says “We were strong as a club. Bad results with good performances, we kept our faith and last week we got three positive results in a row. I think this month of December can be good. We play four matches at home in the Premier League.” Whilst on Costa, Jose insists “For me, there are no questions marks. For one game he was on the bench and for me, for a player, that is natural, He always tries and gives his best. I don’t need a reaction from him. I just need him to be what he is and try hard.”
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe meanwhile, says on their own situation, “Whenever you get injuries, it is a test and a challenge for your squad to adapt. Certain people have been given opportunities that maybe would not have expected to get them, but they have grasped them in recent weeks. I think whoever is called upon will step up and help the team.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, John Terry, Ramires and Radamel Falcao are all on the injured list although Thibaut Courtois returns and Nemanja Matic is fit despite needing a facial mask to protect his broken nose.
For Bournemouth, Harry Arter (hamstring) misses out but Howe is playing it coy over the fitness of Artur Boruc and Adam Federici, so who knows who’ll be between the sticks.

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Pedro, Hazard.
BOURNEMOUTH (Possible line-up): Allsop, Francis, Cook, Distin, Daniels, Ritchie, Gosling, Surman, Stanislas, Murray, King.

LAST SEASON
N/A

CURRENT FORM
Chelsea: WLLLWD
Bournemouth: LLLLDD

OTHER STUFF
~ Chelsea have won four of their previous five league and cup games against Bournemouth.
~ Chelsea have kept three successive clean sheets in all competitions.
~ Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 43 Premier League home games against newly-promoted sides
~ Bournemouth’s 30 goals conceded is the joint highest in the Premier League
~ Bournemouth have conceded four penalties this season.

PREDICTION
Even after our apparent up-turn in form, there isn’t a game I could genuinely say I felt confident going into. Everton thought they’d wrapped up the points in time added on last week but a resolute Bournemouth would not lay down. I don’t see us rolling them over either.

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