CHELSEA v Stoke: Preview

Date: Saturday 31st December, 2016
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

Our last game of the season sees us at home to Stoke City.
Mark Hughes’ side has struggled for consistency so far this season and come into the game with no win from the previous four after what looked like a half-decent spell. Of course Chelsea are on a run of 12 wins from 12 and despite the absence of both Diego Costa and N’golo Kante against Bournemouth on Boxing Day, looked no less solid.
On a run like ours though, we’re there to be beaten and having taken a point off us in this fixture last season, Hughes will be setting Stoke out to do what he’s so far failed to do as a manager against us himself – take all 3 points away from Stamford Bridge.

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CHELSEA v Bournemouth: Preview

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.

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Crystal Palace v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 17th December, 2017
Venue: Selhurst Park
Kick-off: 12:30 GMT

Today’s early kick off sees us take the short trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace and whilst we’re riding on confidence with ten straight wins, Palace aren’t doing quite so well. This time last season it was us struggling in 16th and Palace sitting 6th in the table but with one win in ten, Crystal Palace are taking up 16th spot coming into the game.
Our last couple of games have been about patience, focus and even a bit of digging in to get the result. Neither were blessed with an abundance of goals and you’d have to suspect this could be another one of those games. Not that we’ll necessarily walk away with 3 points on this occasion, because with Christian Benteke’s record against us, the 1-all predictions might not be far off the mark.

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Sunderland v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Wednesday 14th December, 2016
Venue: Stadium of Light
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT

After our well-fought 9th successive win at the weekend, where we really had to dig in to get something from a resilient West Brom, tonight it’s a trip to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland.
Of course, this is another game where the weight of expectation is all on us to win given its top against bottom but there’ll be plenty of us who know what a potential banana skin this fixture is – and it wouldn’t be the first time either. Not only do Sunderland seem to do ok against top four opposition when they’re not expected to, they’re also unbeaten at home against us in the last 3 and beat us in this fixture in May.
Definitely not a forgone conclusion here.

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CHELSEA v West Brom: Preview

Date: Sunday 11th December, 2016
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 12:00 GMT

After another battle from behind last week gave Guadiola and City the hump, and us a 3-1 win and another 3 points, today’s early kick-off sees Chelsea play host to West Brom.
Whilst we go looking for a ninth consecutive win, West Brom come into the game with 3 wins in their last four games and sitting seventh in the table. You’d have to think that much like ours, West Brom’s current position is about a bit more than everyone around them being poor this season and much of the credit has to go to the managers. The Baggies look to be benefitting from some disciplined defensive displays and they’ll fancy themselves to shut us out today. Mind you, Antonio Conte has showed that despite giving the Duracell bunny a run for its money on the touch line every week, he’s a patient man when things aren’t quite going his way. Just as well really, with Arsenal’s win over Stoke seeing them celebrate the title yesterday.
We’ll just have to hope we can dampen those celebrations today.

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Manchester City v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Saturday 3rd December, 2016
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Kick-off: 12:30 GMT

Last week against Spurs we conceded our first goal in over 600 minutes and there were tears and tantrums in abundance. It’s true we didn’t have a great first half but the cries of us ‘being found out’ and Conte’s formation (which had served us well for the six wins before last week) ‘not working anymore’, were drowned out when Pedro served up a reminder of what else we’d got in our locker. By full time, as is usually the case in that particular fixture, we’d taken another 3 points and the nappies were well and truly wrung out.
In today’s early game it’s Manchester City away, so we can expect another tough one. Guardiola will undoubtedly have done his homework, and like Spurs last week, City will set themselves up to put a stop to our run. The unfortunate statistic for us, given our 7 straight wins, is that our last 8 game winning streak was ended by a 1-0 defeat away to Manchester City.

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CHELSEA v Tottenham: Preview

Date: Saturday 26th November, 2016
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT

This evening’s game sees Chelsea playing host to Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
As we’ll remember all too well, this fixture gave us something to smile about when we had very little else to celebrate last season. Not that today’s visitors will have forgotten either, as Eden Hazard’s equaliser giving us the draw and Leicester the title when we met in May.
Back to this season though and whilst they’ve followed the voters’ lead with a sharp exit from Europe, Spurs remain unbeaten in the league, ending u run of draws with a hard fought win against West Ham last time out. As for Chelsea, our sixth straight win in last week’s game against Middlesbrough put us at the top of the Premier League pile, although we’re unlikely to still be there going into this fixture so will need all three points for a return.
Hopefully someone will have tipped Conte off about our history with today’s visitors and he’ll want to make it a nice, round 30 games.

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Middlesbrough v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Sunday 20th November, 2016
Venue: Riverside Stadium
Kick-off: 16:00 GMT

We’ve come through the International break just about unscathed, so today it’s back to the Premier League and a trip to the Riverside Stadium.
With five wins on the spin, we could have done without the break, whilst Boro haven’t exactly been struggling in recent games either. Whilst the form guide looks a bit hot and cold, it needs to be remembered this is a Boro side that has already given City and Arsenal a run for their money this season.
We’ll just have to hope the break hasn’t disrupted our momentum!
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CHELSEA v Everton: Preview

Date: Sat 5th November, 2016
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT

Today’s late game sees us at Stamford Bridge, playing host to Ronald Koeman’s Everton.
Last season, this one ended all square at 3-all after John Terry’s late equaliser in the 98th minute left us a lot happier than the Toffees. We’ve been a bit quicker off the mark in recent games, with goals early doors setting out our stall and our new formation shutting out any response.
Despite Costa’s 3 goals in 3 Premier League games against Everton previously, their defence are likely to be better prepared today, with only Spurs letting in fewer goals than the Toffees so far this season. So if Conte is to get a fifth successive win in the league, we’ll have to hope he’s done more homework than Koeman.

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Southampton v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Sunday 30th October, 2016
Venue: St Mary’s Stadium
Kick-off: 16:00 GMT

This afternoon’s game sees Chelsea make the trip to St Mary’s to face a Southampton side in decent form. Not only have they won their last five games at home in the league and cup but they’re unbeaten at St Mary’s since February 2016.
Of course, it was Chelsea who came back from a goal down to win that particular fixture 2-1 and the midweek game to West Ham aside, we’ve not looked too shabby ourselves lately. Our current run of three league wins without conceding is our best in almost two seasons.
Before Conte decided on 7 changes for the league cup, Chelsea had scored 9 goals in 3 games – 4 of them against United last weekend – without response, thanks to Conte’s new set up defensively keeping things nice and tight at the back. Mind you, whilst Southampton have failed to stop us scoring in our last 13 meetings, this season, only Spurs have conceded fewer goals than the Saints.
Unlikely to to be a goal fest, so I suspect it will either come down to individual error losing it or individual brilliance deciding it.

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