Chelsea return to action on Thursday night, as they play their rearranged Premier League fixture from the coming weekend. The Blues are busy at Wembley on Sunday in the FA Cup semi-final, so they’re in league action against the Clarets this Thursday, with Sean Dyche’s side flying high in seventh, compared to the troubles of the visitors. Their differing fortunes kicked off when the two met at Stamford Bridge in the opening game of the campaign, with the Clarets winning 3-2 in that one. That victory kicked off a strong campaign which has put them in to the top seven, just two points off the top six.
While these two are on opposing sides on Thursday, their interests will align come the weekend. Although they are languishing in the bottom three in the Premier League, Southampton are actually the biggest danger to Burnley’s chances of making Europe. Should the Saints win the FA Cup, they’ll take a Europa League spot. However, a Chelsea win on Sunday would all but secure Europe for Sean Dyche and his men. Given that they sit nine points clear in seventh, the Turf Moor outfit can start looking forward to continental trips if the Blues book a cup final spot.
Team News: How Will Conte Prepare for Wembley
The looming prospect of the weekend’s semi-final will focus the minds at the Bridge, but it remains to be seen how that match will impact Thursday’s team. After moving within seven points of fourth at the weekend, Chelsea basically have to commit to chasing down the Champions League spots, despite that being a doomed cause. As a result, we expect to see the usual system and approach kept for the midweek game. While Victor Moses and Olivier Giroud started on the bench at the weekend, the pair are likely to step in to the first 11 for this clash.
Burnley have got a few long term absentees, with Ben Mee the latest on that list. Steven Defour, Jon Walters and Robbie Brady are all missing for this weekend’s clash, although recent form suggests that the Clarets are getting on regardless. The hosts have tended to start in a 4-4-2 formation this season, and they are likely to adopt that same approach here. Former Blue Jack Cork will take up a place in the middle for the home side, after playing every minute of the campaign so far.
Burnley come into this clash in fantastic form, after winning their last five matches. They come here after some impressive results, which has pushed them in to European contention. That run of form culminated in the weekend victory against eighth placed Leicester, which put the Clarets nine points clear in the top seven with just five matches left to play. Can they extend that advantage with a victory over the Blues on Thursday night?
The hosts are middling in terms of home form, as they come into this clash with the ninth best home record in the division. They’ve won fewer than half of their home matches so far, claiming more points on the road than at home. The hosts have been successful on the road to the top sides, but they’ve not been able to translate that form into meetings with the big six at Turf Moor. While they’ve managed to win five on the bounce, most of those did come against out of form sides, which should serve to temper Sean Dyche’s optimism ahead of this clash.
Burnley v Chelsea Head to Head
Chelsea were upset in the last meeting between the two teams, but the Clarets have lost just one of four encounters. They’ll be confident going into the game, although the Blues have won two of their last three trips to Turf Moor in the Premier League. The Blues will be going all out to add to that good run this weekend, as they try to get some revenge for their opening day defeat at the Bridge.
- Chelsea 2-3 Burnley, Aug 2017
- Burnley 1-1 Chelsea, Feb 2017
- Chelsea 3-0 Burnley, Aug 2016
- Chelsea 1-1 Burnley, Feb 2015
- Burnley 1-3 Chelsea, Aug 2014
- Both Teams to Score – Evens with Ladbrokes
- Chelsea and BTTS – 17/5 with Coral
Chelsea’s weekend victory sees them posted as the favourites in this one, as they’re priced up at evens with Betfred to win. The Clarets may be in fantastic form, but they sit out at 7/2 with BetVictor for the three points. Meanwhile, you can back the draw at 12/5 with Bet365, which could tempt many a punter. Will the Blues come out with a victory to take into their FA Cup semi this weekend, or will Burnley continue their push for European football?
Chelsea head here on the back of a 3-2 victory over the Saints, but if they’re to rotate anywhere ahead of the semi final it’s likely to be the defence. The issue for the visitors is that they’re now nine games without a clean sheet, conceding in their last seven trips across all competitions. Burnley are in great form, which has seen them pick up in front of goal. However, four of their last five matches have seen both teams score, and in the other West Ham wasted plenty of chances to draw a blank. As a result, we’re backing both teams to score at odds of evens with Ladbrokes.
On top of that, Burnley do have clear issues against top sides at home. They may have done well away to the top sides, but they’ve taken a single point in five home games with the top six. They’ve conceded in all of those games, while Man United, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal have all won here. With that in mind, we think an away win and both teams to score is a good bet here, which is priced at 17/5 with Coral.