Bournemouth vs Chelsea – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 6th May 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Chelsea’s visit to Bournemouth. Chelsea are lurching from one bad result to another – can they stop the rot? Free betting tips and more with our Bournemouth vs Chelsea prediction.
Bournemouth vs Chelsea Preview
Bournemouth all but secured their Premier League status for another year with a hugely impressive 4-1 victory over struggling Leeds United. 7 wins in 12 games has lifted O’Neil’s men nine points clear of the relegation zone with just four games remaining, and over the last 10 games Bournemouth are 7th in the Premier League table, one point ahead of Manchester United in 8th.
Leeds played right into Bournemouth’s hands, as they looked to control possession but without having the quality to generate the attacking threat required. Aside from winning a few key aerial battles – Bamford scored with a header and they won some aerial duels, particularly at the far post – Leeds otherwise gave Bournemouth the room they needed to play their customary attacking game in transition.
There is the temptation to suggest that Bournemouth could take it easy in this match as it’s essentially ‘job done’ for the season, but Chelsea represent another scalp despite their poor campaign. A win here would see Bournemouth leapfrog Lampard’s men in the league table, and that fact alone is motivation enough.
While we must be careful not to overstate how poor Chelsea have been, the fact is that they’re losing game after game (six in all competitions) and they don’t look like winning football matches. Sometimes, when a team with the talent that Chelsea has at their disposal is in poor form, it can be the case that they’re not taking their chances, or nothing is going right for them. In this case, however, they’re being outplayed and out-thought on a regular basis.
Nobody was particularly surprised that Chelsea found themselves 3-0 down against Arsenal at the Emirates just after the half-hour mark. We felt that Chelsea may have been able to present a threat on the counter and force Arsenal to play a little more cautiously in light of their own recent poor defensive record, but the game was largely a procession.
Chelsea improved in the second half, but the game was already gone – it wasn’t a realistic prospect for the Blues to play their way back into the match. They’re fortunate that they had a reasonable start to the season (though still enough to get Thomas Tuchel the sack) – over the last 25 matches, Chelsea are 17th in the Premier League table with a paltry 23 points and five wins.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Mepham, Moore, Traore
Will Not Play: Fredericks, Stanislas, Tavernier
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Bettinelli, Broja, Cucurella, James, Koulibaly, Mount
Bournemouth vs Chelsea Lineups (Predicted)
Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Neto; Vina, Senesi, Stephens, Smith; Lerma, Rothwell; Christie, Outtara, Billing; Solanke
Chelsea (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Fofana, Silva, Chilwell; Fernandez, Kovacic, Kante; Madueke, Sterling, Havertz
Bournemouth vs Chelsea Analysis
Bournemouth Will Get Chances
The betting odds for this match, with Chelsea as 6/5 favourites or thereabouts don’t reflect the reality of where the two sides find themselves at the moment. Clearly, if Chelsea were performing as a more coherent unit in attack and defence, they have a lot of quality in the squad and they could justify that favourites tag. As it stands, we feel it’s difficult to make a real case for a side with 8 points in their last 10 matches compared to Bournemouth’s 18.
At this stage of the season, with Chelsea highly unlikely to get relegated despite their shocking form, and also without the carrot of European qualification to play for, they can only play for pride. Ideally, they’d go back to basics, look to defend compactly and try to hurt Bournemouth in transition. The problem is, they’re trying to play possession football and they don’t generate enough of a threat to justify such a controlling approach. It’s neither yielding enough goals nor is it helping their cause at the back.
Bournemouth are well set up to take advantage of such ponderous, indecisive play. They break quickly with purpose and can be described as a fluid counter-attacking team rather than a kick-and-rush outfit. Chelsea are switching between a back four and three central defenders to find a system that suits them, but they’re missing Reece James at right back/wing back and Thiago Silva, as fine a player as he is, looks at sea in a central defensive pairing owing to his lack of pace.
Chelsea Have Nothing to Lose
At this point, Chelsea simply have nothing to lose. They’re not battling for a European place, nor are they in any danger of being relegated. While their season is effectively over, this could be an opportunity for them to play their way into some form without the kind of pressure that they would clearly be unable to cope with.
Chelsea have managed to generate an attacking threat when they’ve been able to move the ball quickly and with confidence. The goals haven’t always followed, but they did have enough quality to put Borussia Dortmund out in the Champions League and they gave Real Madrid a scare early on at the Bernabeu. Bournemouth tend to attack with numbers in transition – it’s what makes them a dangerous side for almost any Premier League team, but it can also be a weakness.
Chelsea’s attackers are understandably low on confidence – sometimes, the effects of morale are underestimated in elite football, players are not robots. They can take heart from Madueke’s performance against Arsenal, and they have the talent in midfield to take control of the game and play the likes of Madueke, Sterling and Havertz in (we believe he’ll be restored to the starting lineup – Aubameyang hasn’t shown much).
We expect an improved showing from Chelsea, but we feel it won’t be enough. The structural flaws in this team – neither able to defend well with a back three or with two central defenders, they don’t move the ball quickly enough and their attackers are low on confidence or not getting the game time they need, is creating a toxic situation which goes beyond the coach and the players themselves.
Bournemouth may have little to play for, but they’ll consider Chelsea even in this state to be a scalp worth taking, and we think that Chelsea will have a hard time stopping them in their current predicament. They will almost certainly have less of the ball, probably around 35%, but they will, in all likelihood, do far more with it.
Bournemouth 2-1 Chelsea
Bournemouth vs Chelsea Betting Tip – Bournemouth Odds:
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