Bournemouth will be aiming to compound Chelsea’s woes when the two teams meet on Saturday afternoon.
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Bournemouth vs Chelsea predictions
Game after game, Chelsea find a way to plumb new depths.
Their latest debacle came at the Emirates Stadium, where the Blues suffered a 3-1 defeat by Arsenal on Tuesday night.
There is no great shame in losing to the Gunners on their own turf. They have been one of the stories of this Premier League campaign.
But the manner of the performance was deeply concerning. Chelsea were out of the game by the interval after a first-half display which featured a lack of quality, cohesion and fight.
The Frank Lampard experiment has not worked. Even his biggest doubters could not have foreseen a record of no wins, no draws and six defeats up to this point.
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But the issues go far deeper than an interim manager. The ownership must take ultimate responsibility for Chelsea’s abysmal season.
Todd Boehly and co. have run the club incredibly badly, splurging close to £600m on new signings without any sort of plan for how so many disparate parts would be moulded into a functioning unit.
It looks as if the Blues will finish in the bottom half of the Premier League table for the first time since 1995/96. That would be an extraordinary outcome when you consider they won the Champions League less than two years ago.
Chelsea will bounce back. There is too much talent in their squad for them to fail so miserably next term. But there is no doubt that everyone associated with the west London outfit is willing the current campaign to end.
Bournemouth vs Chelsea betting tips
Bournemouth can make life difficult for Chelsea this weekend, with the Blues in danger of dropping points again.
Bournemouth or draw – 3/4 (Spreadex)
It is one thing that Chelsea have nothing to play for as we enter the final month of the season. It is quite another that they are not yet mathematically safe from relegation.
A tally of 39 points will almost certainly be enough to stay up, but it is remarkable that Chelsea are still not guaranteed a place in next season’s Premier League.
Bournemouth are not either, but their supporters are feeling much happier with their side’s return of 39 points from 34 matches.
Few anticipated the Cherries reaching such a number. Odds-on for relegation from the start of the campaign right up until last month, it was widely assumed that Gary O’Neil’s team would be in the Championship in August.
Instead, Bournemouth can begin planning for another year in the Premier League. O’Neil has done a magnificent job on the south coast. He inherited a team that had just lost 9-0 to Liverpool and guided them to survival with a few matches to spare.
Chelsea won the reverse fixture 2-0 on December 27. Since then, Bournemouth have won more than double the amount of games as the Blues.
Over 2.5 goals – 10/11 (Spreadex)
Chelsea’s principal problem under both Graham Potter and Lampard has been putting the ball in the back of the net.
They have done so only 31 times this season, which works out at just 0.94 goals per match. Nottingham Forest, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton and Everton are the only teams with inferior records.
Chelsea did at least manage to find the net against Arsenal, but that was on a night where their defensive unit was continually pulled apart.
It seems like the Blues are unable to get both parts of the game right. A small uptick in attacking output on Tuesday led to a decrease in their solidity at the back.
Bournemouth are an attack-minded team. O’Neil has encouraged his players to take a front-footed approach this season.
At times it has backfired: only Leeds United have shipped more goals than the Cherries. But Bournemouth do carry a threat up top and their attacking ambition has gone a long way to keeping their heads above water.
Meanwhile Chelsea will be determined to show some signs of life after an especially dire few weeks, while survival means Bournemouth can play with a degree of freedom.
With all that in mind, there is reason to believe this will be an entertaining encounter.
Time of first goal 11-20 minutes – 4/1 (Spreadex)
In relation to the above, the situation of both sides means this is unlikely to be a cagey affair.
Chelsea are not exactly high on confidence right now, but whichever players get selected for Saturday’s contest will feel they have a point to prove.
After such consistent disappointment this term, there is no reason to expect Chelsea to suddenly spark into life at the Vitality Stadium.
But there is no denying the talent at the disposal of Lampard (and perhaps Mauricio Pochettino as of the summer), especially in forward areas.
Home teams often set the tempo and rhythm of a game. Bournemouth will do so by trying to exploit Chelsea’s lack of belief from the first whistle.
Their matches throughout 2022/23 have tended to be wildly open from the start. Premier League games involving the Cherries have contained 36 goals in the opening half an hour alone.
The goal time markets are notoriously difficult to call but it could be worth a punt on this selection.
How to watch Bournemouth vs Chelsea
- Location: Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, England.
- Date and time: Saturday 6 May 2023, 3pm.
- How to watch: Not being shown live in the UK.
About the author
Greg Lea is a freelance football writer from London. He predominantly covers the Premier League and has had work published by the Guardian, FourFourTwo, ESPN and others.
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