It’s been a difficult start in the Stamford Bridge hotseat for Graham Potter, who saw out Chelsea’s pre-World Cup schedule with five winless games, a run that certainly doesn’t chime with the instant-success demands of the club’s top brass. He knows he will need to transform those fortunes, and fast, or risk going the way of his predecessor, Thomas Tuchel.
That barren run includes three successive defeats, coming at the hands of Brighton, Arsenal and Newcastle, which has left the west London club hovering rather precariously in eighth and some eight points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, though the Blues have played a game less.
Bournemouth meanwhile spent their mid-season break hiring Gary O’Neil on a permanent basis. The former assistant to Scott Parker had been interim coach since the end of August, but having masterminded some exceptional results, including a 3-0 win over Everton last time out, the makers and shakers have decided to put their faith in him.
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Chelsea vs Bournemouth match stats
This could be a game where Raheem Sterling really comes to the fore. The England international has bagged nine goals in his nine Premier League appearances against Bournemouth, including his first ever hat-trick in the competition back in October 2015. In fact, he has scored more goals against the Cherries than any other side in his career (league only).
Kai Havertz will also be looking to put behind a difficult World Cup and get back amongst the goals at club level. The versatile attacker certainly knows where the back of the net is, but his Achilles heel has often proven his timing this campaign. Keep an eye out for Sky Bet’s ‘offside’ market, as only Ivan Toney (13) has been offside more times in the Premier League this season than Havertz (12).
29 Feb 2020 – Bournemouth 2-2 Chelsea – Premier League
14 Dec 2019 – Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth – Premier League
30 Jan 2019 – Bournemouth 4-0 Chelsea – Premier League
19 Dec 2018 – Chelsea 1-0 Bournemouth – League Cup
01 Sep 2018 – Chelsea 2-0 Bournemouth – Premier League
Incredibly, Bournemouth are unbeaten in three games against Chelsea. During their last meeting at Stamford Bridge, the Cherries ran out 1-0 victors with Eddie Howe’s side securing a 1-0 win over Frank Lampard’s men thanks to Dan Gosling’s 84th-minute winner.
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