Antonio Conte’s men will be looking to extend their winning run to 12 straight Premier league wins and tighten the grip on the title challenge as they prepare to face inconsistent Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day round.
Can Chelsea do it?
Eleven Premier League triumphs on the trot claim they can, but Antonio Conte cannot afford to dream of the title in his debut season in the competition. The Italian made a swift transition from Italian football to physically demanding game on the Island, and although he hit a couple of bumps on the road at the beginning, Conte is doing remarkably well at the Stamford Bridge. His tactical diversity and knowledge came to play straight away as the Italian’s switch to 3-4-3 yielded fantastic results and made Blues impenetrable at the back. Chelsea are coming off from three 1-0 wins over West Brom, Sunderland and Crystal Palace last time out and although some fans would argue that Chelsea are scraping through, the resilience and character are at full display from the tough Conte’s side. Diego Costa has been the man to watch this season as the Spanish international extended his goal tally at Selhurst Park to 13 goals this season. Costa also has 5 assists to his name and is turning into the most valuable asset for Antonio Conte’s side.
Blues forward Diego Costa will be forced to sit through the game against Bournemouth through suspension, together with N’Golo Kante. John Terry and Marco van Ginkel are ruled out with injuries, whereas there is a doubt over the fitness of Eden Hazard who is still having problems with his knee.
It has been a fairly successful season so far for Bournemouth who are sitting comfortably in the middle of the standings with 21 points next to their name after 17 rounds. Eddie Howe’s men have been one of the most pleasant surprises in the top tier this term after finishing 16th last season. The Cherries have been alternating between wins and defeats over the last seven Premier League matches and the trip to Stamford Bridge comes at the worst time possible as it offers little hope that Howe’s men will be able to bounce back from the 3-1 defeat at the hands of Southampton last time out. Bournemouth are turning into a respectable and stable Premier League side and will have Eddie How to thank for. The club is currently looking for areas to build their new stadium at as the Board is looking for a capacity increase by 3,000. Bournemouth are currently paying millions of pounds in stadium rent and their own venue would be a great boost for the club’s financials.
Chelsea loanee Nathaniel Ake, who is negotiating a deal for a permanent Bournemouth stay, is ineligible to face parent club, whereas the visitors will be without Junior Stanislas, Andrew Surman and Lewis Cook, who are all carrying injuries.
Chelsea are keen to extend their winning Premier League run to 12 league games and we are prone to predict that inconsistent Bournemouth will not be the ones to stop them. Antonio Conte’s men are in excellent form and will be looking to give their fans the perfect Christmas gift at Stamford Bridge.
Top pick: Chelsea/Chelsea 2.10 (11/10) @Coral
Alternative pick 1: Chelsea to win to Nil 2.40 (7/5) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score – No 1.95 (20/21) @Betfair