Burnley have made a poor start to the season and could really do with getting some more points on the board when they host Chelsea at Turf Moor in the EPL on Saturday (3pm; TV: Live on BT Sport).
Burnley finished 10th last season with a good haul of 54 points, as many as when they finished seventh in 2017-18, and the league’s ninth-best underlying numbers. However they have struggled in the early running of the new Premier League campaign, taking just one point from five matches.
Defeats to Leicester, Southampton and Newcastle were followed by a 0-0 draw away at newly promoted West Bromwich Albion and then a 0-1 reverse at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night.
For the first 70 minutes or so, Sean Dyche’s side had the better of a match low on good-quality chances, taking 13 shots to the three of their visitors, but Spurs came on stronger down the final stretch and scored the decisive goal from a well-worked set piece. Burnley were unable to adequately react and so fell to a fourth defeat of the nascent campaign.
Dyche saw enough promise in the performance to suggest his team will start picking up points if they continue on the same path. He has players making their way back to full fitness, including central defender Ben Mee, and the team’s metrics to date have been better than results. They have outshot their opponents on average and have a pretty much neutral expected goal difference, in line with last season and usually seen within midtable teams.
They need to get some positive results under their belt sooner rather than later and may view a Chelsea side who have begun the campaign uncertainly as an attainable scalp. Though they did lose home and away to the Blues last season, and have only once defeated them, away at Stamford Bridge in 2017, in their recent years in the Premier League.
Chelsea were by some distance the league’s biggest spenders in the off-season, utilising the money saved from their year-long transfer ban to spend, spend, spend in a market in which few of the other richest clubs in world football felt able to. Frank Lampard was provided with plenty of new and shiny attacking toys, a couple of defensive additions and a new goalkeeper.
Things haven’t quite yet clicked. Chelsea have won two, drawn three and lost one of their opening six fixtures and currently find themselves 10th in the table. After looking very open in their early matches, including 3-3 draws against West Bromwich Albion and Southampton, Lampard switched tact entirely with a surprisingly defensive display away at Manchester United last weekend.
Chelsea were unable to get anything going at all in attack at Old Trafford, mustering just six shots over the course of the 90 minutes. United got off 14 and forced a couple of smart saves from Edouard Mendy, last month’s arrival from Rennes. The two sides finished third and fourth respectively last EPL season, but neither looked of that quality in a drab 0-0 draw.
Chelsea’s pre-season investment suggested their aim was to leapfrog United into third and make inroads on last season’s top two, Liverpool and Manchester City. Neither their results to date nor their metrics have been those of a side capable of doing so. It is still very early days, but Lampard needs to find a more coherent way of balancing his attacking talent with some degree of defensive solidity, and quickly.
The Blues do travel north on the back a 4-0 victory away at Krasnodar of Russia in the Champions League in midweek, with two of the new arrivals, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, getting on the scoresheet. They are likely to find Burnley more awkward opponents.
In fact, Burnley have a decent chance of coming away from this fixture with at least an extra point to their credit, perhaps even three. The Asian Handicap market provides further security in the case of a narrow defeat, making that the way to go for Saturday’s match. So this is our preview’s Burnley vs. Chelsea betting tips verdict:
- Bet on Burnley +1 goal on the Asian Handicap @ best odds of 51/50 with Bet365.
Compare Burnley vs Chelsea EPL Match Betting Odds