After barely managing to achieve the result, they set out for in Paris, the Blues will be back in action tomorrow in the Premier League, this time playing host to the relegation battling side Burnley.
Our recent performance against PSG has been overshadowed by the racial video that went viral on the internet where allegedly few Chelsea fans racially abused a black man on the subway. The club, however, acted quickly to the incident as the team put out a public plea for witnesses to this crime. Hopefully, the involved fans will be duly punished for this awful crime!
Back to football then. The Clarets have been quite bad for most of the season and are on the verge of being relegated to the championship if they don’t improve drastically in the coming weeks. With just one win in the 12 outings, Sean Dyche’s side are definitely struggling at the top flight and coming up against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge could be one of the toughest test they would have to face this season.
As for Chelsea, well, Jose Mourinho’s side has definitely not been at their best for some time now, but the Blues have been grinding out positive results in a very skillful, “Jose Mourinho” type manner, prompting everyone to speculate about the PL trophy being brought to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. There’s still lot of games to be played though, and if we wish to be crowned the king at the end of the season, these are the sort of matches we have to win which brings us to the player battles.
We bring you the three player battles which are most likely to influence the outcome of this game tomorrow:
EDEN HAZARD vs KIERAN TRIPPIER
“We have had 25 matches in the Premier League and it’s no different. What happened tonight with Verratti, if he [Hazard] is another player he dives, rolls on the floor and screams.
He’d be asking for cards, but this kid is pure. Today there were nine fouls and in the Premier League it’s no different.” – JOSE MOURINHO
It is no doubt that Eden Hazard, on his best days, is quite literally unplayable. The Belgian is simply amazing, brilliant and one of the best in the whole world when he is in his grove. The thing is though, even when the winger isn’t playing that well, he still is a pain in the head (and where not) for the defenders, who find it very difficult, nearly impossible to stop the Belgian on his runs: thus the silly fouls!
Frankly, it’s the only tactics that the opposition can manage against our talisman to stop him from causing havoc in their defense and there is no doubt that Kieran Trippier will be looking to continue this trend when he comes up against Eden Hazard at the Bridge tomorrow. Only if the referee can do something about it this time around!
Nevertheless, expect Eden Hazard to completely own the fullback while being kicked around for 90 minutes, making this battle the most exciting and interesting to watch out for tomorrow!
JOHN TERRY vs DANNY INGS
Danny Ings has been a ray of silver lining in an otherwise dull season for the Clarets. The 22-year-old Englishman has been brilliant for the relegation battling side this season, scoring 9 goals in all competitions so far. The young forward has been even more impressive when you look at the way Sean Dyche has used him for the team.
Ings, operating as a primary Centre Forward in a hard working Burnley side has been employed with the task of hold up play, pressing the opposition consistently upfront and even creating chances for his team-mates by frequently dropping in the No. 10 role, probably why he also has 3 assists to show for his hard work. No doubt the top Premier League sides are sniffing around the Englishman to acquire his service!
John Terry has been ever present for the Blues at the Central Defense, but even the Captain has lost a yard of pace in the recent years. Coming up against a young and hard working Striker who dwells in the role of a poacher; John Terry will face a quite tough task when he starts at Stamford Bridge alongside Kurt Zouma. A very important battle to watch out for tomorrow!
DIEGO COSTA vs JASON SHACKELL
A big sigh of relief for the Chelsea fans. After completing the three-match ban, Diego Costa will finally be available for Chelsea against Burnley tomorrow.
The Striker did, however, start in the mid-week Champions League clash against PSG, but our goal scoring machine looked a bit out of sorts on the pitch, losing the ball frequently, while being nullified upfront by Marquinhos and Co. That was probably due to the lack of match practice or so we hope, as the Striker will be back on the pitch tomorrow to continue his old goal-scoring form while being a headache and a continuous source of irritation for the opposition players.
Jason Shackell has been a regular at the back for the Sean Dyche’s side this season. The 31-year-old is an experienced campaigner but definitely not immune to making mistakes, more so, when he will be up against none other than Diego Costa himself. An interesting battle we have got on our hands as we hope Diego Costa scores a winner to mark his comeback to the PL.
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt