Chelsea vs Burnley: Match Preview
After the 1-1 draw in Paris in the UEFA Champions League, Chelsea return to London to resume their Premier League duties. It is match day 26, and Chelsea face the team they started their Premier League campaign against, Burnley.
TEAM NEWS, INJURY UPDATES AND SUSPENSIONS
Chelsea have a fairly fit squad.Mikel, who has an injured knee, is expected to be back on Saturday. Diego Costa looked a bit rusty in Paris, the reason being him out of match practice courtesy of his three-match ban, but will surely start again against Burnley. Oscar may be recalled into the starting line-up, which would mean Ramires losing his place. Hazard and Cuadrado will be the wingers, while Matic and Fabregas will start in central midfield. Cahill looked flat footed against PSG, and will struggle to keep his place, with tough competition coming from youngster Kurt Zouma. Courtois was outstanding on Tuesday, making crucial saves to keep the score to 1-1, and will start between the sticks. Ivanovic, who once again scored an all important away goal, will start at right back, while Filipe Luis, who is fit now, may start at left back.
Burnley have a few injury concerns. Matt Taylor and Stephen Ward are still injured, although the former could return to face Chelsea on Saturday. Dean Marney is a long-term absentee. In-form striker Danny Ings will lead the line, with Barnes and Kightly in support. David Jones, Scott Arfield and Boyd will play in midfield. Trippier, Shackell, Keane and Mee will be the back four. Tom Heaton will guard the posts.
Chelsea maintain their seven point lead over second placed Manchester City, although they came very close to reducing the lead against Everton, where a Willian goal at 89 minutes along with crucial saves from Petr Cech got them out of jail. Chelsea will be happy with their last performance against PSG, although they have to thank Courtois for the draw. They will hope Burnley cause a lot less problems at Stamford Bridge, but they will know it will be non walk in the park, as Burnely recently came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Manchester City. Chelsea have won two of their last three Premier League matches, and will hope to make it three in four against Burnley.
Burnley are fighting relegation, as they sit at 19th in the table. They have collected only one point from a possible 12, as they lost 3 of their last four matches, drawing just the one against West Bromwich Albion, where they surrendered a two-goal lead. Manager Sean Dyche will realize that time is running out for his team, and this may not be the best time to face the league leaders. With just 13 more matches to go in the Premier League, Burnley will have to find a solution to their problems and fast.
Burnley have won only 2 their last 31 league matches, keeping a clean sheet in only one of those matches. Chelsea have won every match at home in the league this season except the one against Manchester City.
REVERSE FIXTURE THIS SEASON
Burnley 1-3 Chelsea 18/08/2014 (BPL)
LAST 5 MEETINGS
Burnley 1-3 Chelsea 18/08/2014 (BPL)
Burnley 1-2 Chelsea 30/01/2010 (BPL)
Chelsea 3-0 Burnley 29/08/2009 (BPL)
Chelsea 1-1 Burnley 12/11/2008 (League Cup)
Burnley 3-0 Chelsea 23/04/1983 (Second Division)
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UPS
Chelsea: Courtois (GK), Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry (C), Luis, Matic, Fabregas, Cuadrado, Hazard, Oscar, Costa.
Burnley: Heaton (GK), Trippier, Shackell (C), Keane, Mee, Boyd, Arfield, Jones, Kightly, Barnes, Ings.
Chelsea 2-0 Burnley
Time: 1500 GMT / 2030 IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Martin Atkinson
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt