Preview: Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth

Chelsea will look to continue their impressive early winning run with a result over an in-form AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Premier League
Date: 1 September 2018
Game week 4
Kick-off: 16H00 (BST)
Venue: Stamford Bridge

Referee: L. Mason
Assistants: M. Wilkes, M. Perry
Fourth official: D. Coote

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Chelsea 7 5 0 2
AFC Bournemouth 7 2 0 5

Previous encounter:

Chelsea 0-3 AFC Bournemouth 31/01/18 (Premier League)

AFC Bournemouth goalscorers: C. Wilson (51′), J. Stanislas (64′), N. Ake (67′)

Players to watch:

Eden Hazard continues to be Chelsea’s main playmaker amid a team of stars, although it is Pedro who is leading the goalscoring charts for the Blues this season with two goals from the club’s first three Premier League games of the season.

Callum Wilson started the season well for the Cherries with a couple of goals while there have been a number of goalscorers who have contributed to the club’s positive start to the season, including the likes of Steve Cook and Jordan Ibe, who has already made an impact during his loan spell.

Team form and manager quotes:

Maurizio Sarri’s side is unbeaten so far this season, beating Huddersfield, Arsenal and Newcastle United while Bournemouth has dropped just two points, beating Cardiff, West Ham (Milton Keynes in the League Cup) while drawing 2-2 with Everton.

Ahead of the game, Sarri spoke of his opposite number Eddie Howe at his pre-match press conference: “Eddie came to Empoli three or four years ago for a few days, and then I had three days with him when Napoli played a friendly in Bournemouth last year.

“I know him very well. He is a very interesting young coach. He will make a mark in English football in the future.

“Bournemouth are very dangerous opponents for us. They are well organised, they are dangerous in counter-attacks, so the match will be very difficult for us, but we want to be in control of the match, and try to gain points.”

Howe reflected on certain members of his squad, saying: “We can see Diego [Rico] and Jefferson’s (Lerma) personalities coming out. They’re both nice guys and add a lot to our squad. They’re good characters.

“We have a lot of important games coming up, but in terms of Jefferson’s availability for the weekend we’ll have to wait and see.”

He added: “We have a couple of knocks from Tuesday night, so we’ll see how a couple of players are ahead of the game, but I won’t say who they are.”

Team news:

Chelsea have no new injury concerns with only Cesc Fabregas and Michy Batshuayi still sidelined but Willian could make a return from injury this weekend.

Adam Smith is back for suspension for Bournemouth but Lys Mousset is out with an ankle injury. Marc Pugh faces a late fitness test with a calf injury.

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