Premier League 2018-19, Chelsea vs Bournemouth: Match Preview, Predictions, Venue & Where to Watch Details
Chelsea welcome Bournemouth on Saturday as they look to make it four wins out of four in Sarri's maiden season at Stamford Bridge. Given their emphatic start to the season on the back of a few glimpses of the Sarri'ball' so far, the possibility of another win looks likely.
However, one can never write off Eddie Howe's Bournemouth as they picked up the most points from losing positions last year. In fact, since 2015/16, only Liverpool and Tottenham have won more points from losing positions than Bournemouth. They are unbeaten in the league so far with two wins and a draw.
The match can be considered as a reunion for both managers, who have a lot of mutual respect for each other. Four years back, the Cherries' boss had visited Sarri while he was the manager of Empoli - to discuss coaching techniques and tactics.
Chelsea v Bournemouth: Kick-Off information
Date: 1st September
Time: 15:00 (local time), 19:30 (IST)
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Chelsea v Bournemouth: Team news
Eden Hazard and Mateo Kovacic, who threaded a string of passes together against Newcastle last week, are ready to start at Stamford Bridge for the first time this season. Cesc Fabregas is still out with a knee injury.
"He's working in water. We hope that next week he will be able to work on the pitch," Sarri said, when asked about Fabregas' condition.
Junior Stanislas and Kyle Taylor are out due to knee and muscle injuries respectively. Having made 10 changes to the side that beat MK Dons in the Carabao Cup, Howe is expected to field a strong XI for this clash.
Chelsea v Bournemouth: Probable line-ups
Chelsea (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Hazard, Pedro, Morata
Bournemouth (4-4-2): Begovic, Smith, Ake, Steve Cook, Daniels, Gosling, Surman, Brooks, Fraser, King, Wilson
Chelsea v Bournemouth: Form guide
Last 5 matches (in all competitions)
Chelsea v Bournemouth: Head-to-head
Chelsea wins: 9
Bournemouth wins: 3
Chelsea v Bournemouth: Key players
Chelsea: There is no stopping Eden Hazard at the moment. He has carried his World Cup form to the Premier League and has already scored one and created two more this season. Also, Bournemouth are one of his favourite opponents as he has scored five goals and assisted one in six appearances against them.
Bournemouth: It will be a special game for Nathan Ake. He will return to Stamford Bridge and hope to get his side over the line. Arguably one of the tidiest young centre-backs in the league, Ake will be tasked with keep Morata and co. quiet. He is also a handyman to have during set pieces.
Chelsea v Bournemouth: Prediction
Although the Cherries have had a fine start in the league, Sarri's men will take all three points. Stamford Bridge is a fortress for the Pensioners and with Hazard, Pedro and Alonso in prime form, they should run riot over the opposition's defence. However, they will concede against a quality attacking side.
Predicted score: Chelsea 3-1 Bournemouth