League leaders Chelsea look to make it 12 Premier League victories in a row with Bournemouth the latest side to try and stop the Blues in their tracks (3pm Boxing Day).
Antonio Conte’s charges extended their winning run to 11 consecutive matches last time out, triumphing in a London derby with Crystal Palace thanks to Diego Costa’s excellent header shortly before the half-time interval.
It was another solid defensive performance from the Blues, who controlled the game throughout and barely conceded a chance to the hosts at Selhurst Park. Their backline has now been breached on only two occasions in their last 1040 minutes of action in the top flight. There may still be a long way to go until the end-of-season prizes are handed out, but it is looking increasingly difficult to envisage any member of the chasing pack overhauling a Chelsea team who seem to possess a perfect balance across the pitch at present. The only negative aspect of their triumph over Palace were the yellow cards collected by Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante, with both men now set to miss out through suspension on Monday.
Bournemouth are also having a fine season, in spite of their 3-1 defeat by south coast rivals Southampton last Sunday afternoon. It was a disappointing performance from Eddie Howe’s (pictured) charges at both ends of the pitch, but the Cherries should not lose sight of the fact that they are currently in a brilliant position to extend their stay in the Premier League for another year – seven points is the margin that separates them from the bottom three after 17 games.
Howe is a manager who sticks to his principles and Bournemouth will therefore seek to play their usual short passing game at Stamford Bridge, although they are pragmatic enough to know that they are unlikely to be allowed to dominate possession at the home of the league leaders. Having said that, Chelsea do often allow opponents the ball as they seek to open up space for the counter-attack, so it will be important that Howe’s men make the most of any such opportunities that they are afforded.
Cesc Fabregas has impressed when given an opportunity in recent weeks and will have another chance to shine in the absence of Kante, while Michy Batshuayi will be handed his first league start of the season in place of Costa, who has scored more goals than anyone else in the division this term. John Terry is the only other probable absence with a gluteal strain, although Conte’s recent selections suggest that the long-serving club captain would not have been included in his XI even if he was fit.
Bournemouth have no fresh injury worries, although Junior Stanislas, Andrew Surman and Lewis Cook all remain sidelined with various ailments and loanee Nathan Ake is not permitted to face his parent club. Jack Wilshere played in a deeper midfield role against Southampton and could be used alongside Harry Arter once more, while Jordon Ibe will be hoping to return after a spell on the substitutes’ bench.
Our Preview’s Chelsea v Bournemouth Betting Tips’ Conclusion
The absence of Costa and Kante will clearly be detrimental to Chelsea, but they still have more than enough quality across the pitch to add another three points to their total for the season. Bournemouth will be bold at the Bridge but that could leave them exposed at times, with the likes of Fabregas, Batshuayi, Willian and Eden Hazard well equipped to take advantage of any space they are given in the final third. Chelsea to win with under 2.5 goals scored in total therefore looks like a sensible betting tip option, while Hazard could be a good option for anytime goalscorer.
So these are this preview’s Chelsea v Bournemouth betting tips for their Boxing Day clash:
- Chelsea are best priced at 2/5 to win this game, which this preview thinks they will. However a value way to back this is to go with ‘Chelsea to beat Bournemouth with under 2.5 goals scored in total- at 29/10 with Coral.
- Eden Hazard to score anytime at a best price of 7/5 with Bet365 Bookmaker.
Greg Lea is a freelance sports writer. Read the articles that he has written at Just Bookies.