Chelsea return to Premier League action on Sunday, as they head to Burnley. The Blues are fresh from a Europa League victory on Thursday night, but can they recover in time to claim all three points in this visit to Turf Moor? Maurizio Sarri’s side slipped away from the top of the table after a 2-2 draw with Manchester United last weekend, and they can ill-afford another slip with the fight for the top four looking incredibly tight.
The Blues approach the weekend as part of a top five which is separated by just two points. They have Arsenal on their tail, who have just won their 11th straight game. Meanwhile, Tottenham have made their best ever Premier League start, and that’s left them in fifth. Spurs tend to finish better than they start, so Sarri’s team can’t afford to let their form wobble. With the Europa League almost wrapped up until after Christmas, the Blues need to keep on top of things in the Premier League, starting with a return to winning way this weekend.
Team News: Hazard Racing Back for Turf Moor Clash
While he was unlikely to feature against BATE, the news that Eden Hazard was ruled out of the Europa League clash through injury was worrying. The Belgian got a break on Thursday, but he’s now in a race against time to be fit for this encounter. The Blues have been hugely reliant on Hazard all season.
The fact that Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s hat-trick on Thursday made him the joint second highest scorer in all competitions says a lot. The Belgian should return in time for Sunday’s game, especially with a chance to sit out again during Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie. The big decision for Sarri comes in midfield, where Ross Barkley, Matteo Kovacic and Loftus-Cheek are pushing for one spot alongside Jorginho and N’Golo Kante.
The Clarets have had issues with goalkeepers all season, and last term’s regular between the sticks, Nick Pope, is ruled out. Joe Hart is set to start despite shipping five goals away at Man City on Saturday. The Clarets are likely to line up with a similar 4-4-1-1 system, having looked defensively solid, especially for a team who shipped five goals. The Clarets have a settled side and a hard-working group, so they’re unlikely to switch things up ahead of this clash.
The Clarets are sat in 13th place in the Premier League, following a mixed campaign. They have failed to replicate their start from last season, but things seem to be picking up for them. The hosts were eliminated from the Europa League before the group stage, and many believed that their European adventure had an impact on their domestic form. However, things haven’t drastically improved since their exit to Olympiakos, and that leaves them vulnerable ahead of this clash. They didn’t improve in domestic cup action, losing in the Carabao Cup to League One Burton.
Burnley have just four points from four home games, and now they’re facing one of the Premier League’s top sides. The Blues head here with an unbeaten run stretching to 13 games across all competitions, 10 of which they’ve won. Meanwhile, the Clarets have lost over half of their league games so far, shipping close to two goals per outing in the Premier League.
Burnley vs Chelsea Head to Head
Chelsea won their visit to Turf Moor earlier this year, with Victor Moses hitting the winner in that trip to the Clarets. The Blues have claimed early season wins against Burnley twice in recent years, in 2014 and 2016. Both campaigns ended with the Blues being crowned champions. Meanwhile, last season’s struggles started with a loss at home to the Clarets, so this will be a good indicator of where the Blues stand.
- Burnley 1-2 Chelsea, April 2018
- Chelsea 2-3 Burnley, Aug 2017
- Burnley 1-1 Chelsea, Feb 2017
- Chelsea 3-0 Burnley, Aug 2016
- Chelsea 1-1 Burnley, Feb 2015
- Over 2.5 Goals – 4/5 with bet365
- Chelsea and BTTS – 23/10 with Coral
The Blues are heavy favourites to win this trip, with BetVictor marking them out as the 1/3 favourites to take the points at Turf Moor. Meanwhile, the draw can be backed here at 19/5 with Betfred, and Burnley sit out at 17/2 with Ladbrokes to claim a surprise win. The hosts haven’t quite been up to last season’s standard, but those odds do seem big for a side who finished two spots behind the Blues in May. Having gone in very different directions in the new season, Sarri’s side are looking to come here and pile on to Burnley’s woes.
Chelsea have had defensive issues all season, and that showed in the goal they shipped to BATE. Sarri questioned the defensive ability of his midfielders after the Europa League game, a criticism which he extended to the ones who didn’t feature. They shipped two poor goals last Saturday, while Burnley have scored in four of their last five. The Blues have seen over 2.5 goals in all but one of their away league trips this season, and we think that odds of 4/5 with bet365 are generous for a repeat. With Hazard set to return, we’re backing a strong attacking display from the visitors.
Chelsea’s four Premier League trips to Turf Moor have seen both teams score, while just one of their last seven meetings overall has seen a clean sheet recorded. With that in mind, we see the Clarets grabbing a goal here, especially after the week the Chelsea backline have had. However, the Blues should beat a side who have lost five of their last eight in the Premier League, so we’re backing an away win. Chelsea to take the points and both teams to score is our final tip, at 23/10 with Coral.