Football News

Burnley v Chelsea predicted XIs: Team news as Loftus-Cheek comments on surprise centre-back role

By Harry Edwards

Published: 13:41, 3 March 2022

Burnley will be looking to pull off another big result in their quest for Premier League safety when they welcome Chelsea to Turf Moor on Saturday at 3pm (UK time).

The Clarets gave themselves a big boost by beating Tottenham in February, moving them to the edge of the relegation zone, but they remain one point behind 17th-placed Everton having gone winless in their past two matches (one draw, one defeat). Chelsea, meanwhile, are third and will be hoping to put some distance between themselves and fourth-placed Manchester United who are three points back.

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Burnley team news vs Chelsea: Make this bit bespoke to an angle or leave blank

  • Ins: None
  • Outs: Matej Vydra, Ben Mee, Dale Stephens, Erik Pieters, Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
  • Doubts: Ben Mee

Ben Mee suffered a knee injury in Burnley’s defeat against Leicester in midweek but Sean Dyche has revealed he is not completely ruled out for the visit of Chelsea, though it is touch and go. Nathan Collins came on for Mee and may still start if Burnley don’t want to risk aggravating the injury.

Matej Vydra, Dale Stephens, Erik Pieters and Johann Berg Gudmundsson are still absent for the hosts though.

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Predicted Burnley XI vs Chelsea:

  • Pope; Roberts, Tarkowski, Collins, Taylor; Lennon, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Cornet, Weghorst./strong>

Chelsea team news vs Burnley: Loftus-Cheek comments on surprise centre-back role

  • Ins: None
  • Outs: Ben Chilwell
  • Doubts: Cesar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, Hakim Ziyech, Andreas Christensen.

Chelsea will be hoping they can recall a host of players who were close to fitness but just missed out on featuring against Luton Town in midweek. Cesar Azpilicueta and Trevoh Chalobah both picked up injuries in the EFL Cup final defeat to Liverpool last weekend but neither were too serious so they may be able to come back into the matchday squad. Hakim Ziyech and Andreas Christensen have both missed the past two games completely, but again Chelsea will be hopeful for their return.

Thomas Tuchel will be able to call upon Thiago Silva who sat out against Luton while Reece James may get his first start following his return from injury. The absentees in midweek hurt Chelsea’s defence as a makeshift backline was constantly pulled apart by Luton in the first half and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who started at the heart of the back three, admitted he didn’t know too much about his new role.

“It came as a surprise to me! I found out the day before that I might have to do a job there,” he told Chelsea’s official website after the game.

“A lot of our defenders have got niggles and there’s some players who played 120 minutes plus penalties at the weekend. You have to do a job where you get put and I still tried to bring my qualities and what makes me Loftus-Cheek to the game. That’s all I could do but I really enjoyed it.

“I played centre-back when I was 12 or 13, for a season or two, and I never liked it! But tonight was a bit different, I played as a centre-back in a back four when I was younger. This time I had more licence to step out and create the attack from the start, so I enjoyed it.”

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Predicted Chelsea XI vs Burnley:

  • Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Rudiger; James, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso; Havertz, Lukaku, Mount. (3-4-3)