After the week that’s been, few things might be potentially more annoying than a trip north to Turf Moor to play against relegation-threatened Burnley, but that’s what the football gods have ordained for us, and thus, that’s what we’ve got to love.
As Thomas Tuchel also said in his pre-match press conference, we’re lucky and privileged enough to play football, love football, and especially Chelsea Football Club football, and we certainly shouldn’t take that for granted. Not now, not ever.
And even though we’ve hardly played actual Premier League football over the past six weeks, we remain comfortably third. Things could change as the number of fixtures played begins to even out in the final trimester of the season, but as long as we continue to take care of business, we will be just fine.
Date / Time: Saturday, March 5, 2022, 15.00 GMT; 10am EST; 8:30pm IST
Venue: Turf Moor, Burnley, England
Referee: Andre Marriner (on pitch); Mike Dean (VAR)
Forecast: Sunny but breezy and cold
On TV: none (UK); USA, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport Premier League, Canal+ Sport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: none (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Burnley team news: Burnley started the season with just 1 point from their first 5 matches, and things have not really improved from there — though they have managed to draw a fair few games, 12 to be exact, to maintain some hope of surviving the drop. In fact, no team have drawn more often in the Premier League so far this season.
Less helpful to their hopes is the fact that they have the fewest wins of any team in any of the top four professional divisions in English football with just 3. That said, two of those three wins have come in their last four games, and against decent opposition in Brighton and Spurs. Unsurprisingly, Sean Dyche’s team have the seventh best defensive record in the league, which certainly isn’t bad for a team sitting 18th out of 20.
The big change (at least in terms of physical size, if not quite impact) in January was the £27m departure of striker Chris Wood to Newcastle, with this replacement, Wout Weghorst arriving two weeks later for one-half the price from Wolfsburg. That’s a lot of W’s, and certainly more than Wood can claim, though Weghorst has just 1 goal in 7 (with Wood still looking to open his Magpies account).
Chelsea team news: Books might be written over just the past few weeks of Chelsea history, but in terms of team news, it’s mostly brief and good. César Azpilicueta is the only player confirmed out (in addition to Ben Chilwell obviously), the rest are either good to go, or should be good to go, or should at least be able to sit on the bench. And we have almost a full week to rest up after this game, so hopefully we can maintain a clean bill of health for a minute.
Previously: One of Burnley’s dozen draws was this ever-annoying 1-1 at Stamford Bridge back in early November. Overall, Burnley haven’t beaten Chelsea since the incredibly annoying 3-2 at the Bridge on opening day in 2017-18, and while we’ve dropped points a few times to them in recent years, we haven’t lost at Turf Moor since 1973, which I can only assume was a most annoying day as well.