Chelsea will hope to maintain their 100% record under Maurizio Sarri when they welcome Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge. The Blues have enjoyed a perfect start to the Premier League under the former Napoli boss, with a late win against Newcastle last week making it three out of three. It was a case of attack vs defence at St. James’ Park for the majority of the game last week, with Chelsea playing the possession-based football that Sarri demands from his sides. Prior to that, a home win over Arsenal and a comfortable victory at Huddersfield ensured the new-look Chelsea got off to the perfect start. Given that, they will expect all three points again in front of their own fans, although it won’t be an easy game against Bournemouth.
That’s because Eddie Howe’s men have enjoyed a fine start to the season themselves. The Cherries have picked up seven points from their first three games, dropping their only points against Everton last week, but even then they battled back to secure a late point in dramatic fashion. Their only away game this season saw the South Coast side come from a goal down to win at the London Stadium.
With their attacking style, fast players and ability to cause a few shocks, Bournemouth have more than enough about them to make this an exciting game and one for the neutral to enjoy. They will obviously start as big underdogs but it’s a fixture that Chelsea won’t take lightly.
Chelsea vs Bournemouth Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Bournemouth
Even though we think that the Cherries will make a game of it at Stamford Bridge, there’s no denying that the Blues are a top quality side and should have enough to secure the points. Sarri has got the side playing on the front foot, looking to get at teams and the Bournemouth defence isn’t the strongest. With the likes of Eden Hazard, Jorginho and Alvaro Morata playing a key role, it’s hard to look past a Chelsea win in an entertaining game.
Our recommended tip: Over 3.5 goals
With Chelsea such a short price, there’s very little value for the majority of punters when it comes to backing the Blues for an outright win. Therefore, it’s best to look for a different angle and we feel it’s a game that should guarantee goals.
Firstly, Sarri is all about attacking football and encourages his side to get after the opposition. He set his sides up that way in Italy and will continue to do so here. Should Chelsea take the lead, their approach won’t change, they will look to attack and score. So, not only today, but the season in general, they should be a good side to watch.
And, Bournemouth are similar in the sense that Howe demands good, stylish, forward-thinking football. He is likely to go with a front two of Josh King and Callum Wilson who have real pace and will ensure the Cherries have a major threat. With that in mind, it promises to be a very exciting game and there should be at least four goals.
This is a very modern fixture in terms of English football and the game at Stamford Bridge will be just the 13th meeting between the sides, primarily because Bournemouth have spent most of their history in the lower leagues.
Unsurprisingly, Chelsea have had the better of things, winning nine of the previous 12 meetings. However, the Cherries have had some memorable moments in this fixture, particularly at Stamford Bridge. They won 1-0 against the Blues in 2015, in what was a huge result at the time, whilst they recorded an emphatic 3-0 victory in this very fixture last season, a result that is arguably their best in recent years.
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Players to watch: Eden Hazard & Callum Wilson
The Belgian is a top quality player and probably in the top three in the league when at his best. He is the man to make Chelsea tick going forward, capable of effortlessly beating players and is their main creative outlet. The World Cup meant he returned to training late, however he is up to speed now and will be the main man for Chelsea going forward against Bournemouth.
As for Bournemouth, they will always have a threat with their two forward. And, one man in form is Callum Wilson, who many thought would get a call-up to the England squad. He has electric pace, looks to run in behind and is calm and cool in front of goal.