Chelsea vs Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge for their first post-World Cup competitive fixture on Tuesday evening.
- Location: London, England
- Stadium: Stamford Bridge
- Date: Tuesday 27 December
- Kick-off Time: 11 PM IST
- VAR: David Coote
- Referee: Simon Hooper
Chelsea vs Bournemouth: Match Preview:
Chelsea will be under pressure to get off to a winning start when Bournemouth travel to the capital on Monday.
Three defeats in a row sent the Blues into the World Cup break scratching around for positives amid an injury crisis and serious lack of form in attack.
Graham Potter has welcomed back some of his absent players but plenty of questions remain. Answers will be demanded fast with Chelsea eight points off the top four ahead of the Premier League restart.
Bournemouth were knocked out of the Carabao Cup upon their return to action and have only a three-point buffer over the relegation zone.
The World Cup hiatus was supposed to be an opportunity for Potter to recover his ailing stars. Reece James and Carney Chukwuemeka are in contention to feature against Bournemouth but both Wesley Fofana and Armando Broja sustained knee injuries during winter friendlies.
Doubts linger over Ben Chilwell as he nears a return from a thigh issue – a problem area which is expected to sideline N’Golo Kante until February.
Kepa Arrizabalaga and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are creeping back towards competitive action following foot and calf problems respectively.
Croatia’s Mateo Kovacic and Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech faced off in the third-place playoff which took place ten days before Tuesday’s top-flight fixture, leaving little room for recovery.
O’Neil described the days leading up to Bournemouth’s Carabao Cup defeat against Newcastle on Tuesday as “a tough week” after losing as many as ten players to a virus. With seven days between the cup tie and trip to Stamford Bridge, it remains to be seen how many players can recover in time.
Jefferson Lerma, Ryan Fredericks and Marcus Tavernier are believed to be part of this sickly cabal.
Neither goalkeeper Neto nor captain Lloyd Kelly were available for the cup tie against the Magpies even though both returned from injury to take part in the club’s warm-weather training camp. David Brooks has also gotten back out on the grass during the off-season.
Chelsea vs Bournemouth: Head to Head:
The two teams have locked horns 17 times across competitions, including their first meeting in 1988. The Blues lead 11-5, while one game has been drawn.
The Blues are winless in their last three meetings against Bournemouth, losing twice.
Chelsea Starting 11 (3-4-3): Arrizabalaga; Chalobah, Silva, Koulibaly; James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Cucurella; Mount, Aubameyang, Sterling.
Bench: Mendy, Bettinelli, Azpilicueta, Havertz, Pulisic, Zakaria, Gallagher, Hall, Hutchinson.
Bournemouth Starting 11 (4-4-2): Travers; Smith, Mepham, Senesi, Zemura; Christie, Billing, Cook, Anthony; Solanke, Moore.
Bench: Sadi, Plain, Hill, Greenwood, Stacey, Emiliano, Dembele, Lowe, Adu-Adjei.
CHE vs BOU: Dream11 Predictions:
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