Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League match as the Blues welcome the Cherries to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
Chelsea are looking to stretch their incredible winning streak to 12 Premier League games on Monday when they welcome Bournemouth to Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard marked his return to Antonio Conte’s starting XI in their recent win over Crystal Palace, in which Diego Costa grabbed the winning goal, while their next opponents were beaten 3-1 by Southampton.
Eddie Howe’s men face an extremely tough Boxing Day task, but they will take confidence from their win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season.
Conte has an almost full squad at his disposal ahead of the game, barring a couple of long term injuries and suspensions to contend with.
John Terry is no closer to a return after Conte confirmed he is out for Bournemouth’s visit and, perhaps, for much longer.
Kurt Zouma and Ruben Loftus-Cheek returned to the bench two weeks ago following their injury problems. Centre-back Zouma has not played since February 7 due to serious knee trouble.
Meanwhile, Oscar has missed the last three fixtures due to an “illness”, while he negotiated his £52 million move from the Blues to Shanghai SIPG.
“We are in good shape and all the players are fit,” Conte said. “We haven’t got any new injuries. Eden is available, yes. But not John Terry yet.”
Diego Costa has been one yellow card away from a suspension ever since he was booked against Arsenal in September and finally got his fifth booking for dissent against Crystal Palace.
The Spain international will miss Bournemouth’s visit, as does N’Golo Kante.
Nemanja Matic, Pedro and David Luiz are one booking away from a suspension, while Cesar Azpilicueta has received three yellow cards this year. The disciplinary records reset at the start of 2017.
CHELSEA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Conte has made very few changes during the 11 game winning run, although Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas have been rotated in and out of games in recent weeks.
Willian made his first start for months in the league against Sunderland and finished his first match a week later against Crystal Palace.
Conte has tended to stick with the same set-up and basis for his starting XI, but he will be forced into making changes over the coming week due to the intense festive fixture schedule.
The Italian will likely stick with the 3-4-3 formation that has helped his side turn their season around, although there have been signs that opponents have begun to find it easier to play against in recent weeks.
Nevertheless, the switch to a back three has clearly tightened up the Blues defence, with only two goals conceded in their last 11 games, while the fact that they have also scored 25 goals in that time means drastic changes are highly unlikely.
Chelsea loanee Nathan Ake has been in fantastic form on the south coast in recent weeks, but won’t be able to play against his parent club due to the Premier League’s rules.
Junior Stanislas and Andrew Surman could be back from their ankle injuries for Chelsea but will face late fitness tests ahead of the match. Lewis Cook is likely to remain on the sidelines as Eddie Howe has the rest of his squad to chose from.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
If Chelsea win this match, they’ll set an outright club top-flight record of 12 successive league wins, beating a run of 11 wins set in September 2009.
The overall top-flight record for consecutive wins is 14; set by Arsenal in between February and August 2002.
Diego Costa will be missing this game through suspension. The Spaniard has had a hand in 18 of Chelsea’s 35 Premier League goals this season (51% – 13 goals, 5 assists).
Prediction – Chelsea 3-1 Bournemouth