Chelsea will be expected to make the class gap tell against Bournemouth on Saturday evening.
Chelsea had a goal difference for their opening seven home games last season of +15 but this time around it’s zero as not even the comforts of Stamford Bridge have been able to arrest their poor form. However, they have kept back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season and a game against struggling Bournemouth is a golden opportunity to add three points.
Bournemouth looked to be heading for a ninth defeat of the season last weekend when trailing Everton 2-0 at half-time and then 3-2 in the 95th minute but they salvaged a miraculous point and now will hope to build on that. However, the injury problems we’ve mentioned for several weeks have worsened with Adam Federici, Steve Cook and Harry Arter all going off injured in that game and doubts for the trip to the capital.
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The Cherries have conceded 17 goals in their last six away games, so if ever there was a game to help Chelsea’s strikers rediscover the way to goal this is the one. Bournemouth’s last seven defeats have all been after trailing at the break and in their last six matches their goal’s been breached no less than 14 times before half-time.
Chelsea have won 13 of 16 home games against promoted teams since 2010/11 and we would expect them to make the gap in class pay on this occasion and gain an essential three points. At 2/5 to win they are certainly one for the acca but backing them outright we’d prefer to take the 11/10 on a Chelsea/Chelsea HT/FT double. The Blues general lack of goals is a concern with that, even with Bournemouth’s leaky defence, but their last three wins have all come to nil while the Cherries last two defeats have been without scoring so the 6/4 on a win to nil is a tempting price.
Over 2.5 Goals is the favourite in the goals market and with all scores quite feasible in this match that is probably fair. The possibility of third choice keeper Ryan Allsop starting for Bournemouth with both first choice centre-backs, Cook and Elphick, expected to be missing certainly increases the likelihood of Chelsea finally blowing a team away. Half of Bournemouth’s last 12 matches have had at least four goals with three of the last six seeing exactly six strikes and this is a match where we’d prefer to take a bigger line and back Over 3.5 Goals at 17/10. However, with most of these goals expected to come from the home team the Asian Handicap is another good way for supporting the Blues.