Chelsea and Bournemouth are set for what will be just the ninth meeting all-time between the two sides and only the fifth at Dean Court, but the rarity of the occasion will probably the last thing on everyone’s minds.
By the time this one kicks off late in the afternoon, we will have known how all the rest of the current top four have fared, most importantly Spurs, who are at home to Watford. Assuming Tottenham get the expected three points there, the gap at the top will be just four points, adding once again a bit of (welcome?) pressure into the proceedings. Not that anyone should be lacking for motivation at his juncture.
“...if [Tottenham] win, lose or draw it’s the same, we have a good pressure. For us it’s very important to look at ourselves. Tottenham’s result is important but ours is the most important thing.”
“This race is open. I think now I can see two teams, Chelsea and Tottenham, but anything can happen. There are 24 points to play for and other teams can enter the race.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
Game by game. Three points at a time. Forza!
Date / Time: Saturday, April 8, 17:30 BST; 12:30pm EDT; 10pm IST
Venue: Dean Court, Bournemouth, England
Referee: Andre Marriner
Forecast: Strong spring sunshine.
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBC, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: BT Sport Live (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Universo Now (USA); Hotstar (USA)
AFC Bournemouth team news: The Cherries appear to be all but safe for the second successive season in the Premier League, and are currently as far above the relegation zone as Chelsea are ahead of second place at the top. Eddie Howe & Co are in fact unbeaten in five straight matches, including two wins in a row at home.
With a largely healthy squad full of confidence (even Arsenal loanee Jack Wilshere is available!, this will not an easy three points for Chelsea.
Chelsea team news: The big news is that Victor Moses should be available for selection after recovering from his minor-ish injury that has kept him out the past few weeks. While Chelsea have dealt with Moses’s absence adequately enough, there is a reason why the converted winger has been such a (surprise) key player for the team this season.
The Blues followed up last weekend’s unfortunate defeat with a well-earned three points midweek against Manchester City. Will need the same level of commitment, hard work, etc in this one.
Previously: The reverse fixture was on Boxing Day and featured goals from Pedro and Hazard, plus an own goal for good measure.