Bournemouth v Chelsea Match Preview (Premier League) – 23rd April 2016

Chelsea head to Bournemouth on Saturday with, amazingly, just three points separating the sides in the table. The Blues are 10th, but they face a fight to stay in the top half given their awful recent form. Following back to back defeats, the team now have to pull themselves together ahead of their final five games of the season.

The first of those matches is away to a side who have already beaten them this term. Bournemouth won at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, one of the many low points in the first half of the campaign. Another defeat here would be dreadful from the team, after they meekly surrendered their unbeaten run and lost back to back games.

Bournemouth, on the other hand, know they could achieve an incredible feat by finishing in the top half in their debut season in the league and that despite some terrible injuries to star players. They may be 13th, but they have the chance to close the gap in this clash, against a team they’ve already won against. On top of that, the Cherries are much improved now from their win against Chelsea last year.

With forward Callum Wilson now back in the squad, there’s a lot more goal threat in this side. He’ll be a massive boost to this team, and the striker could have a field day here. He’s up against a makeshift Chelsea defence, one which is missing Thibaut Courtois through suspension.

Asmir Begovic will step in between the sticks, while John Terry could well miss out once again. Last weekend saw Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic at centre-half against Manchester City. There’s little pace in that pairing, and unfortunately there are few options for Guus Hiddink to change things.

The Dutchman is likely to be without Eden Hazard, and he said the midfielder is in a dark place right now. There are only limited options to change the team, but hopefully the manager can find a way to alter how they’re playing. Recent performances have lacked any kind of motivation, which has led to two horrible results and performances.

Bournemouth have the work ethic and ability to make this a tough game for the Blues as well. Eddie Howe’s men are still working hard despite already getting themselves clear of relegation. They have a chance to complete a double over the reigning champions and that would cap a great season for them.

Chelsea are drifting towards the end of the campaign with next to nothing to motivate them. It’s hard to see what exactly they’ll be playing for on Saturday. Hiddink will likely rotate his side as much as possible, but his team seem like they’ve already got their sandals on. The way the team are playing, a win here would be a huge surprise. It shows just how far the club have fallen when a draw away at Bournemouth would be considered an improvement.

LCN Verdict: 1-1 draw