After seeing off Newcastle at St. James Park, Chelsea return home to the comforts of Stamford Bridge on Saturday to face Bournemouth. It’s the final Premier League match before the next international break, and Chelsea will hope that they can continue an unbeaten run to start this season.
They may have to do so in a match that seems ripe for lots of goals. Bournemouth have started the season well, scoring in each of their first three Premier League matches and putting three past MK Dons midweek.
They will present a challenge to a Chelsea defence that has looked shaky at time against both Arsenal and Newcastle.
Callum Wilson and Josh King have performed well in attack for Bournemouth and will provide more of a mental test for the duo of David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger. Luiz, in particular, has looked shaky in a back four largely due to lack of concentration.
Fortunately for Chelsea, their squad is returning to full fitness after the World Cup. Eden Hazard made his first start of the season against Newcastle and completed the full 90 minutes, despite Maurizio Sarri’s claim that he wasn’t fit to do so.
Olivier Giroud also made an appearance off the bench against Newcastle and is pushing for a starting spot, especially considering the inconsistent form of Alvaro Morata.
But working in Chelsea’s favour is their record against the Cherries. Chelsea have not lost to Bournemouth in their last six meetings overall, and Chelsea will be confident that will be the case again Saturday.
But it’s likely that both sides will score goals, and it will come down to who makes fewer mistakes in the match, especially since Chelsea clearly have the advantage in quality.