Chelsea take on newly-promoted Burnley at Stamford Bridge this weekend, and they will be looking to convert this into their third consecutive win, after their victories against West Ham United and Watford. Diego Costa scored late winners in both games for the Blues so far. Newcomer Michy Batshuayi also helped orchestrate goals in their game against Watford, alongside Diego Costa.
The Blues have rallied strongly under Conte, and they would be looking to maintain the winning streak. However, Burnley should not to be taken lightly.
They thrashed Liverpool 2-0 in an embarrassing loss for the Reds, which was also their first win this season. Strikers Sam Vokes and Andre Gray both came through for Burnley and scored, and it seems like the 4-4-2 formation is working for them. With this win, Sean Dyche and his men bounced back comfortably after losing their opening game 0-1 to Swansea City.
Burnley will be expecting to put up a good fight against Chelsea, and this will be the perfect opportunity to witness if their performance against Liverpool was more to do with luck, or if they have actually improved.
Kurt Zouma and Marco Van Ginkel remain injured, and aside from them, Conte has no other injury concerns for now. Also, Burnley is known to have a weak midfield with a deep defence, and Chelsea might start Fabregas to create chances in such a setting.
Burnley will be content with their fit squad too, except for Ashley Barnes. Liverpool’s Jon Flanagan is expected to start, as he is with the Clarets on loan from Liverpool.
- Chelsea are undefeated in 11 of their last 12 home matches (Premier League).
- Chelsea are undefeated in their last 5 matches against Burnley in all competitions.
- The teams last played in February 2015 and the game ended in a 1 – 1 draw. Before that they played in August 2014 and Chelsea won the game 1 – 3.
- Chelsea is fourth in the Premier League with 6 points having won both games so far. They are tied for points with Hull City, Manchester United and Manchester City.
- Burnley is ninth in the League with 3 points having won 1 game and lost the other. They are tied for points with West Ham and West Bromwich.
League Head to Head
21/02/2015 Premier League 2014/2015 Chelsea 1 – 1 Burnley
18/08/2014 Premier League 2014/2015 Burnley 1 – 3 Chelsea
30/01/2010 Premier League 2009/2010 Burnley 1 – 2 Chelsea
29/08/2009 Premier League 2009/2010 Chelsea 3 – 0 Burnley
12/11/2008 League Cup 2008/2009 Chelsea 1 – 1 Burnley
Chelsea – N’golo Kante
To keep Burnley in check from the initial stages itself, Chelsea would need to capitalise and score an early goal. N’golo Kante’s heroics at Leicester City are widely known, in fact, Claudio Ranieri has mentioned in an interview that letting the midfielder go was a mistake. His absence is strongly felt in Leicester’s midfield, whereas Chelsea has started looking strong in that area.
A lot of Chelsea fans have already compared him to Makelele due to their similar playing styles. Kante’s mere presence made the Blues look more solid and even Nemanja Matic looked more formidable on the field. Kante kept a cool head throughout and delivered under pressure. He would have to bring on his ‘A’ game to counter Burnley’s deep defensive system.
Burnley – Sam Vokes
Vokes was responsible for scoring the goal that allowed Burnley’s promotion this season, and his goal against Liverpool was definitely an ego-booster. He has been waiting to play for Burnley, and looking like that focus and determination is paying off, after all.
Counter-attacking seems to be an integral part of Burnley under Sean Dyche, and Sam Vokes has the kind of pace, skills and presence of mind that a striker in this situation would need. The Welshman’s partnership with Andre Gray was key in their game against Liverpool, and they need to build up on that.
The most likely outcome will be a 2-1 victory for Chelsea over Burnley, as they have a home advantage and also would want to record three consecutive wins.