Game Week 17 Predictions: Chelsea to beat Bournemouth

Chelsea must beat Bournemouth to prove they're still relevant in the scheme of things this season but will the Cherries make things easy? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)

Chelsea vs Bournemouth
Stamford Bridge Stadium
6:30pm

The English Premier League returned on Monday and after seven keenly contested fixtures, it’s up to Chelsea to respond after most of the teams around them won their respective games on Boxing Day.

Arsenal steered nineteen points clear of the Blues albeit with Graham Potter’s side having this fixture against the Cherries in hand and of immediate relevance, the race for the top four got interesting with Liverpool’s win at Villa and Spurs’ draw at Brentford.

Chelsea sits nine points off the top four spots and should they win their two outstanding games in hand, they could be talking about just three points but for now, they will do well to just focus on the fight for European places which a win over Bournemouth could help strengthen.

AFC Bournemouth handed their interim manager Gary O’Neil the head coach job on a permanent basis after he impressed as an interim manager following the sacking of Scott Parker. His first job would be to stop the Blues at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Bournemouth have had a good run under the Irish man but they can’t get carried away by the new manager’s euphoria; the Cherries only sit three points off the drop zone and a loss at Chelsea could make things worse.

On paper, Chelsea should be beating Bournemouth but football has gone beyond names. Chelsea should have most of the World Cup players back in action but it’s left to be seen how they line up with Hakim Ziyech making a case for himself with his strong performance in Qatar.

Defensively, Chelsea needs help and that is why they’ve been heavily linked to the Monaco Frenchman Badiashile. 37-year-old Tiago Silva is still their best defensive option and that doesn’t bode well for a team in transition.

Bournemouth can cause some problems with fast players all around the pitch; Chelsea will have to keep an eye on them with full concentration. Elsewhere on the pitch, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang must show workings, and is it time for Raheem Sterling to do the same too?

Verdict: Chelsea to win.

Name

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Footballnus | Get the latest football news, highlights, videos, and transfer gossip: Game Week 17 Predictions: Chelsea to beat Bournemouth
Game Week 17 Predictions: Chelsea to beat Bournemouth
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