Date: Monday 26th December 2016
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
This afternoon’s Boxing Day fixture sees us at home to 10th place Bournemouth.
Chelsea will go into this game at the top of the table and a bit of breathing space, thanks to 11 previous wins in a row. Bournemouth, on the other hand, come into the game off the back of a defeat by Southampton, so they will be looking to take something away from this one.
The Cherries have failed to win 9 of their last 10 away from home this season although we shouldn’t forget they became the first newly-promoted side to beat us at home in 14 years last season with a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
It’s also worth bearing in mind Diego Costa has been involved in 51% of our 35 league goals this season, and both him and N’Golo Kante sit this game out through suspension.
Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says, “Eddie Howe is a really good manager, very young and doing very well with Bournemouth. I like him and have great respect for him. I wish him a good career, a top career. If he continues in this way he can become a manager of a great team. I have studied Bournemouth and they are a good team with good organisation. They always try to play from the back and put on good pressure.”
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe meanwhile, says “We’ve had time to reflect on Sunday’s defeat as we always do. We will try and come back a better team from it, we need to do better really and it’s a good challenge for us. It will be a tough game and the run they’ve been on has been really impressive. They’re solid at the back and free flowing going forward, but we can go into the game with confidence and we have nothing to lose.”
For Chelsea, John Terry remains out injured, whilst both Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante will miss their first league games of the season through suspension.
For Bournemouth, Junior Stanislas (ankle) and Andrew Surman (hamstring) are injured and Nathan Ake, is ineligible to play against us.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz; Fabregas, Matic, Moses, Alonso; Pedro, Batshuayi, Willian
BOURNEMOUTH (Possible line-up): Boruc; Smith, Cook, Daniels, Francis; Arter, Wilshere; Ibe, King, Pugh; Afobe
Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth (5th December 2015)
~ Chelsea have kept nine clean sheets in their last 11 league games, conceding just two goals
~ A win for Chelsea would set a new club record of 12 successive league wins
~ Chelsea have only won one of the last 11 league matches when Costa hasn’t played
~ Bournemouth have won just one of their last 10 league games away
~ Bournemouth have conceded exactly three goals in four of their last five league games