31 January 2019
A vulnerable Bournemouth side welcome fourth-placed Chelsea to the Vitality Stadium in what is a must-win game for the visitors.
The Cherries are struggling for form since early November, having won just three games in the last three months. The fact that they’ve won only three of their previous 15 competitive encounters wouldn’t be so worrying if they haven’t lost 11 games in the process. Although Eddie Howe’s men enter this round encouraged by a 2-0 home win over West Ham United their severe crisis is everything but gone. Bournemouth have lost four of their last six meetings in all competitions (W1, D1, L4), conceding over 2.5 goals per match four times in the sequence. What’s more, the Cherries have failed to find the net in five of their previous ten competitive outings, which appears to be their principal problem at the moment.
Meanwhile, the Blues are desperate to bounce back from a 2-0 road loss to Arsenal and keep a three-point lead over Man Utd and the Gunners. However, Maurizio Sarri’s men have lost two consecutive road meetings across all competitions without scoring a goal. For Chelsea, goals have been in short supply in their last three road games, with two of them producing under 1.5 goals while the remaining one ended 2-0 against their favor. The Pensioners seems unable to keep a clean sheet away from home, considering they’ve conceded at least one goal in seven of their last eight road encounters. The only encouraging fact for Sarri is the Chelsea outplayed Bournemouth in all of their three H2H PL meetings at this venue, scoring eight goals while conceding just two in the process.
Provisional line-up – Bournemouth:
Gk: Artur Boruc Defense: Adam Smith – Ake – Steve Cook – Clyne Midfield: Lerma – Brooks – Dan Gosling – Ryan Fraser Attack: Joshua King – Callum Wilson
Provisional line-up – Chelsea:
Gk: Arrizabalaga Defense: Marcos Alonso – Rudiger – David Luiz – Aziplicueta Midfield: Kante – Jorginho – Kovacic Attack: Willian – Pedro – Eden Hazard
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