Bournemouth v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 23rd April, 2016
Venue: Vitality Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

After the season we’ve had – and even more so after the last couple of games – putting a preview together feels pretty much how I’d imagine penning an obituary for an old friend. There’s a sense of obligation but it’s painful and I’m a bit lost for words.
What’s to say? We’ve been dire. Actually dire is flattering us, we’ve been worse than that because this isn’t just about poor performances, it’s about bad attitudes – and that’s never acceptable. From Hiddink’s message that we’ve done enough just to avoid relegation, through to the utter ambivalence from every player on the pitch – it’s soul destroying.
On a positive note though, today it’s a trip to Bournemouth. We lost the reverse fixture in December, in what ended up being Jose Mourinho’s last Premier League game in charge – a decision that clearly worked out well for the club!
Still, at least we won’t be relegated eh Guus?

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s game, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says “We haven’t talked about a top-10 finish, just this game and making sure we give our best and every effort we have to get a result. I think we owe it to the supporters, who haven’t seen a huge amount of home wins this season, to try to do everything we can to achieve that for them.”
Chelsea interim boss meanwhile focuses on the opposition, saying “They have a strong team spirit with good players, not superstars, but mentally they are very strong. Eddie Howe is a beautiful example of how you can manage it. This season there has not been much to say about Bournemouth and for me that is a good sign as most of the time they have been out of the danger zone and have kept doing well. It has been a fairytale story for them. Still being there (in the Premier League) shows good management and good transfer policy.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Bournemouth, Adam Smith (groin) and Harry Arter (Achilles) miss out but Callum Wilson is available.
For Chelsea, Kurt Zouma, Loic Remy and John Terry are all injured and Thibaut Courtois is suspended. Eden Hazard is available again after a five game absence.

TEAMS
BOURNEMOUTH (Possible line-up): Boruc, Francis, Elphick, Cook, Daniels, Surman, Ritchie, Gosling, Stanislas, Gradel, King.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Begovic, Ivanovic, Cahill, Rahman, Azpilicueta, Mikel, Fabregas, Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Costa.

LAST SEASON
N/A

CURRENT FORM
BOURNEMOUTH: LWLLWW
CHELSEA: LLWDLD

OTHER STUFF
~ Bournemouth won the reverse fixture 1-0 in December – it was Jose Mourinho’s last home game in charge before he was sacked.
~ Chelsea have won four of the last six against Bournemouth in all competitions
~ Bournemouth have lost three of their last four games in the league.
~ Bournemouth have lost four of their last six home league games
~ Chelsea have lost their last two Premier League games
~ Chelsea have won five of their last seven away in the league
~ Chelsea have only conceded three goals away from home under Hiddink.

PREDICTION
Can’t see us picking up 3 points in total from our remaining games, if we’re going to sneak a point at all though, today’s probably our best shot.

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