Date: Saturday 8th April, 2017
Venue: Vitality Stadium
Kick-off: 17:30 BST
Midweek was a bit of a roller-coaster for us, from the joy at Hazard’s opener and the disappointment of Aguero levelling it, to the high of Hazard’s second and knowing Swansea were ahead against Spurs, we had a nail-biting second half right until Swansea capitulated and we ended the night where we started – 7 points ahead.
Today though, with Spurs playing early in the day, we’re likely to go into the game against Bournemouth with the gap down to 4 points and a bit of pressure on us. Not that we should be relying on other results anyway but that defeat against Palace last weekend has reinstated the nerves a 10-point cushion lessened.
With clean sheets about as commonplace at Chelsea lately as in your average teenage bedroom, and Bournemouth looking pretty decent at the back, we could do with Costa remembering to bring his shooting boots with him today.
Going into today’s game, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says “We’re feeling good, we’re full of confidence at the moment. Our home form’s been very good, we’ve won our last two here and performed well away in the last two as well. If we can continue that momentum we have a chance against Chelsea. At the start of the season it was all about getting over 42 points, our total from last season, and that’s still the aim. The atmosphere has been special in the last two home games and the supporters have been tremendous, so I ask for them to be like that again.”
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte meanwhile, says “It’s a great challenge – it’s not easy to play against Bournemouth, there will be a big atmosphere. Bournemouth are a very good team with a very good coach. We must pay great attention because if we think tomorrow is easy, we are making a great mistake.”
For Bournemouth, Dan Gosling and Junior Stanislas are doubts and Tyrone Mings is suspended. Ryan Fraser could return.
For Chelsea, Victor Moses could make a welcome return.
BOURNEMOUTH (Possible line-up): Boruc; Smith, Francis, Cook, Daniels; Fraser, Arter, Wilshere, Pugh; King, Afobe
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Pedro, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Willian, Costa, Hazard.
Bournemouth 1-4 Chelsea (23rd April 2016)
RECENT FORM (PL)
~ Chelsea have won six of their eight league and cup games against Bournemouth.
~ Bournemouth’s only previous home win in this fixture came in Division Two on 3 September 1988.
~ Bournemouth are unbeaten in their last five top-flight games
~ Bournemouth could earn three successive home wins for the first time since September – October last year.
~ Bournemouth have lost 20 points from winning positions this season
~ Chelsea have won 18 of their 21 league matches this season against the teams currently outside the top six in the table
~ Chelsea have lost only once in their last 12 Premier League away matches, winning nine times.