Fourth placed Chelsea travel to the south coast to take on struggling Bournemouth on Saturday night, and the Blues will want to rediscover some form after a bruising midweek 3-0 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Eddie Howe’s home team have lost their two Premier League fixtures, and are in need of points to pull them away from the relegation zone. The spectators should be in for a very interesting game.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side were on the wrong end of some debateable VAR decisions last week, when they were beaten 3-0 away at Burnley in the Premier League. Goals from Josh King and Harry Wilson were disallowed, with Burnley being awarded a penalty after Wilson’s goal to add the Cherries’ ignominy. Howe has urged his players to use that sense of injustice to fire them up for this week’s game. They need to bounce back from last week’s defeat and the 2-1 loss to Sheffield United the week before. Prior to those losses, Bournemouth beat Brighton and Aston Villa in back-to-back home games.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea team may be in fourth place in the Premier League, but they were given a footballing lesson from Germany by Bayern Munich in midweek in the first leg of their Champions League knock-out tie. The German outfit destroyed the Blues in a 3-0 win, with some observers asserting that Chelsea need to buy at least five players before they can come anywhere close to being European challengers again. They can take heart from their last league win, though, as they won 2-1 at home to London rivals Tottenham Hotspur last weekend. That victory was their way of bouncing back from the defeat at Manchester United the week before.
These two sides have met just 16 times previously in their entire histories, having not often been in the same division of the English league pyramid. Nine of those games have been in the Premier League, though, and the Cherries have a decent record against the Blues in those games. Eddie Howe’s team have beaten Chelsea four times in the Premier League, and lost five. Significantly, they have won the last two Premier League encounters.
Earlier this season, back in December, Bournemouth went to west London and came away from Stamford Bridge with a 1-0 win. That victory came thanks to a late goal from Dan Gosling, with the assist coming from Jefferson Lerma. If you want to back Gosling to score again this weekend, then Betway are offering odds of 6.00 on him scoring at any time in Friday night’s game. The winning goal in that game came late, with Gosling netting in the 84th minute. That victory brought Bournemouth’s run of five league games without a win to an end, and gave them 19 Premier League points. They have taken only seven more league points since that day in December, a sign of their increasingly worrying plight when it comes to possible relegation.
Indeed, Bournemouth have won three out of the last four league encounters with the west London giants. Although the Cherries were beaten 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in September 2018, they won 3-0 in west London in January of that year. On their day, it seems that the Cherries know how to make Chelsea very uncomfortable indeed.
One notable result in that sequence of nine Premier League games came last season at the Vitality Stadium. Bournemouth hammered the Blues 4-0, with the goals coming from Joshua King, who bagged a brace, David Brooks and Charlie Daniels. That victory took Bournemouth’s tally of league points to 33 and moved them up to 10th place in the table. This season, things are not quite as positive for Howe’s team, and a repeat of this result would be most welcome.
Our recommended betting tip for this game comes from Betfred. They are offering odds of 7.50 on Bournemouth winning the game to nil. This looks like a good bet to us as we suspect that Chelsea may well be experiencing a giant European hangover after that chasing by Bayern. But the Cherries are not in the greatest form themselves. We suspect, though, that home advantage will be enough for them to secure a 1-0 win, especially given their strong recent record against Chelsea. Losing teams in this fixture in recent times have not been able to score, which might be of significance.