Chelsea v Bournemouth Preview

by - December 19, 2017

This midweek sees the quarter final stage of this season’s League Cup with Chelsea hosting fellow Premier League side Bournemouth on Wednesday evening. Manager Eddie Howe’s team are still punching well above their weight and were lying mid table just over a month ago. The young Englishman guided The Cherries up to this country’s highest footballing tier for the first time in their history in 2015. Despite very limited resources they even finished in an incredible 9th position last season under his leadership.

However they have not won in their last 6 matches and now lie in 16th place after a 4-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Sunday which prompted Howe to admit his side are in the relegation battle. Although victory at Stamford Bridge would mean that Bournemouth will play in their first ever semi final of a major cup competition, maintaining their Premier League status is the number one priority.

With a trip to runaway league leaders Manchester City looming on Saturday we can expect quite a few changes to their starting line up as they utilise their full squad. Bournemouth’s main concern during this winless streak has been a lack of goals, just 4 in the 6 matches. To make matters worse Joshua King sustained an injury on Sunday to limit Howe’s options. He could well have his hand forced and pick a relatively inexperienced unused XI.

Antonio Conte in comparison has an abundance of riches at his disposal. With only David Luiz absent, the Chelsea manager can opt for any combination of starting regulars, regular substitutes and promising youth players. The likes of Willy Caballero, Danny Drinkwater, Ethan Ampadu and Michy Batshuayi will be hoping to start whilst youngsters Charly Musonda and Dujon Sterling could well be involved.

However, this is a quarter final and Conte will want victory and a place in the 2 legged semi finals. Therefore we can expect a strong backbone to his side. Alvaro Morata could well get a recall over Batshauyi (or possibly even line up together), while Cesc Fabregas, Antonio Rudiger and David Zappacosta will surely start.

Conte will certainly be hoping that whoever he chooses will show the hunger and determination to be considered as a starter in the upcoming league matches. After only 1 defeat in the last 10 league matches, a powerful professional performance from the home side will surely see that impressive run continue and for Chelsea to be in the draw for the semi finals.

Written by Jon Ellis, Chelsea FC home and away season ticket holder. Follow him on twitter: @ClitheroeBlue

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