Burnley head into the weekend on the back of just one defeat in five Premier League outings as they prepare to host Frank Lampard’s Champions League heroes.
After a slow start, Sean Dyche’s men picked up eight points from four games before that run was halted by high-flying Leicester City last weekend. It is the home form of the Clarets that remains ever so impressive with three wins from their four performances at Turf Moor and the only defeat came against table-toppers Liverpool.
Chelsea will be another tough challenge with Lampard’s young charges in buoyant mood having defeated Ajax in their own backyard on Wednesday.
The Blues have won four of the last five in the Premier League and lost only once in the last eight games with that defeat coming against Liverpool. Lampard had his sceptics when he arrived but he has slowly gone about his business and is winning a lot of people around with the faith he put in his young players and the quality with which he has got them playing.
When is Burnley vs Chelsea and where can I watch live?
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Turf Moor
Date: Saturday, 26 October 2019
Kick-off: 5:30 PM BST
TV coverage (UK): Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event.
Last five meetings: Burnley vs Chelsea
12 February 2017: Burnley 1-1 Chelsea (Premier League)
12 August 2017: Chelsea 2-3 Burnley (Premier League)
19 April 2017: Burnley 1-2 Chelsea (Premier League)
28 October 2018: Burnley 0-4 Chelsea (Premier League)
22 April 2019: Chelsea 2-2 Burnley (Premier League)
Aggregate Score: Burnley (DWLLD) 7-11 Chelsea (DLWWD)
Ones to watch
Burnley: James Tarkowski
Anyone who has watched England’s last few performances in the Euro 2020 qualifiers will be scratching their heads as to why James Tarkowski is not in the squad and perhaps even in the starting XI.
He is one of the Premier League’s most underrated players and should be on the radar of the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham if he is not already. He defends with the assured confidence or a player who has risen through the football pyramid, rising to and conquering every challenge along the way.
The former-Oldham man, now 26, is in his prime years and a big-money move will be on the cards for sure if he keeps producing the kind of defensive performances that will have Sean Dyche purring like the cat that got the cream.
Key stat: James Tarkowski has made an average of 5.1 clearances per game this season, more than any other Burnley player.
Chelsea: Tammy Abraham
Villa fans will tell you that Tammy Abraham is one of the most natural finishers they have seen at Villa Park in many-a-year and he has continued to take those accolades to another level this season at Stamford Bridge.
The talented England striker has smashed home eight goals in nine Premier League appearances including a scintillating hat-trick in the 5-2 victory away at Wolves.
So impressive are his performances Olive Giroud is yet again consigned to a bit-part role, much to the annoyance of France manager Didier Deschamps but sorry monsieur this is one Englishman who more than deserves his starting spot.
Key stat: Tammy Abraham is Chelsea’s top scorer this season having scored eight goals in eight starts.
Ashley Barnes should be available again after being left out against Everton as a precaution.
Jack Cork should also be back in the starting line-up following a shoulder issue although this game comes too early for Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
Danny Drinkwater will not play, even though he is close to a return from an ankle injury, due to a clause not allowing him to play against his parent club
Predicted XI: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Hendrick, Cork, Westwood, McNeil; Barnes, Wood.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
The main concerns for Chelsea are the injuries to N’Golo Kante (groin) and Ross Barkley (ankle) making the major doubts for the trip to Turf Moor. Andreas Christensen will definitely miss out due to a hamstring injury.
Lampard may also choose to give Callum Hudson-Odoi a rest following mid-week action against Ajax which could see Pulisic come into the starting XI.
Predicted XI: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Tomori, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho; Willian, Mount, Pulisic; Abraham.
Burnley have made Turf Moor a fortress and it continues to be a place where the great and good fear to come. This record has kept Burnley punching well above their weight and if they can reproduce that same level of performance on the road, the Clarets will be a formidable force in the English top-flight – a point not lost on the Burnley manager.
“At home we’ve looked a much stronger unit in terms of how we’ve gone about it, away from home we’re still searching for that real freedom to go on and take on the challenge. We’re still a bit edgy and sort of unsure of ourselves,” Dyche told the Lancashire Telegraph before the Leicester game.
“At home I think there is a nice security about what we’re doing, so that’s got to come and it’s got to come quickly.”
Chelsea are playing well and will be confident they can get a result, especially off the back of a very good performance mid-week so we expect to see the points shared in this one.
Scoreline prediction: Burnley 1-1 Chelsea