Burnley, one of only five teams to have ever won all four top professional football division in England, have solidified their status as a mid-table Premier League club since their latest promotion in 2014. Since then, they’ve even managed to factor into Chelsea history through the infamous Ashley Barnes vs. Nemanja Matić incident and by administering a 3-2 defeat on 9-man Chelsea at the start of last season.
Fortunately, both of those happened at the Bridge; on Sunday, we only have to be concerned about breaking down their typically solid, compact, strong defense at Turf Moor (five-spot conceded to Manchester City notwithstanding).
With the Premier League’s top five separated by just two points heading into the weekend, every point is and will be crucial.
Date / Time: Sunday, October 28, 2018, 13:30 GMT; 9:30am EDT; 7pm IST — Daylight Savings ends in the UK & Europe this weekend, overnight from Saturday to Sunday; US follows next weekend
Venue: Turf Moor, Burnley, England
Referee: Craig Pawson — ugh, again? He’s awarded a penalty or shown a red card in 4 of the 6 Premier League matches he’s officiated so far this season.
Forecast: Cold, possibly sunny.
On TV: none (UK); none (USA — Telemundo may have it in Spanish, but I haven’t seen official confirmation); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: NBC Sports Gold (USA); Hotstar (India); Chelsea TV (audio only, int’l)
Burnley team news: Before last weekend’s 5-0 drubbing by Manchester City, Burnley had been doing alright, and had put together a three-match unbeaten run with two wins (Bournemouth, Cardiff) and one draw (Huddersfield Town). Not exactly the strongest opposition, but confirming the Clarets’ status as an established top division entity under Sean Dyche’s no-nonsense tactics after a terrible start saw them lose four of the first five.
Burnley don’t score often and they generally don’t concede much either — 9 of the 17 they’ve given has come in just two games, the aforementioned 5-0 and a 4-2 loss to Fulham back in August. Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes lead the forward line with two goals each, which means that they have combined for more goals than Álvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud.
One big absence for the home side will be former Spurs and Everton winger Aaron Lennon who’s been sidelined by a mystery “bug”. Robbie Brady should be available for the first time all season however. He’s been sidelined by a knee injury for almost a year.
Chelsea team news: Chelsea are also almost fully healthy, but the one man whose fitness is a concern is the one man we can’t really afford to be without, Eden Hazard. He’s missed not only Thursday’s match but has been unable to take part in training all week thanks to a back injury caused by an uncalled scissor tackle from Ashley Young last Saturday.
Sarri rotated the majority of his squad for the midweek Europa League clash, and should be rotating back to the first-string lineup for this one, which could include Álvaro Morata (who’s scored in 2 of 3 in all competitions) and Ross Barkley (who’s scored in our last two Premier League games).
Previously: Victor Moses scored the winner back in April as Chelsea kept Champions League hopes alive for a few more weeks.