It’s the third away game for Chelsea in just eight days as we travel back up north to take on winless Burnley. After the confidence boost of the midweek win in Krasnodar, another three points would certainly do wonders here, and not just in terms of feelings, but our actual ambitions to push for the top of the league.
So far, only Liverpool have managed to stand apart slightly from the rest of the “big six”, with just four points separating fifth place Spurs from fifteenth place Manchester United, who do have a game-in-hand. Chelsea are stuck smack dab in the middle of that midtable mire, sitting tenth with just two wins from six. On the plus side, we’ve only lost once, and that to the defending champions.
In fact, since that loss to Liverpool, Chelsea have not been beaten in 90 minutes in eight tries (only on penalties, once). Obviously, the draws hurt, but we’re probably not too far away from putting it all together a bit better than thus far.
(But I’ll take any kind of win, easy or ugly or anything in between, as always.)
Date / Time: Saturday, October 31, 2020, 15.00 GMT; 11am EDT; 8:30pm IST
Venue: Turf Moor, Burnley, England
Referee: David Coote (on pitch); Anthony Taylor (VAR)
Forecast: a “yellow warning” for (very strong) winds and (heavy) rain has been issued
On TV: BT Sport Box Office (PPV* £14.95) (UK); NBCSN, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Premier Player (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
*no one’s happy about the pay-per-view, but if you want to boycott and put your money to good use, consider donating to a local foodbank.
Burnley team news: After a midtable finish, one of their best in fact since the glory days of the post-war years, the Clarets are off to an horrendous start, winless in five with just one draw in the league, and out of the League Cup as well. They have scored just 1 goal in their last 5 matches in all competitions.
That sort of futility is unlikely to last for too long, and they were showing signs of turning things around last weekend, when they lost just 1-0 to Spurs at Turf Moor. Burnley are mostly unchanged from last season, with former Brighton man Dale Stephens the only notable addition over the summer. He replaces midfielder Jeff Hendrick, who rejected a contract and signed with Newcastle instead. Veteran winger Aaron Lennon and backup goalkeeper Joe Hart have also left.
Sean Dyche, who’s now the third longest serving manager in any of the top four divisions (8 years and 1 day, exactly), will certainly be hoping to get the team back on track, especially with rumors of a potential takeover dominating the headlines.
Former Chelsea prospect Jack Cork won’t feature thanks to a foot injury, while they will also be without defenders Ben Mee, Erik Pieters, and professional fouler Phil Bardsley.
Chelsea team news: Chelsea have practically a clean bill of health, and even the two previously injured players, Kepa Arrizabalaga (shoulder) and Billy Gilmour (knee surgery) are back in at least partial (light) training as well — though neither’s likely to feature, for their own obvious reasons.
Chelsea have two more games before the November international break starts next weekend, at home to Rennes and then at home to Sheffield United. Let’s get some wins on the board.
Previously: Chelsea haven’t lost to Burnley since the opening match of the 2017-18 season and we haven’t lost at Turf Moor since 1973. This fixture last year was of course famous for Christian Pulisic’s “perfect” hat-trick, which powered our 4-2 victory.