Chelsea Vs AFC Bournemouth Match Preview (1 Viewer)


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Chelsea will be aiming to finish the 2023-24 season on a high note by securing European competition as they host Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

The Blues are pushing for at least a top-six finish, while the Cherries are among several teams hoping to break into the top half of the table. Despite a disappointing, trophyless season that saw head coach Mauricio Pochettino face increasing pressure, Chelsea have found their stride at the crucial end of the campaign and are now on the verge of securing European football for next season.

Since a heavy 5-0 defeat to Arsenal at the end of April, Chelsea have picked up 13 points from a possible 15, winning their last four matches, including a 2-1 victory at Brighton on Wednesday. Premier League Young Player of the Year Cole Palmer scored his 22nd goal of the season, and Christopher Nkunku added a second before Brighton's Danny Welbeck scored a late consolation.

Chelsea's recent surge has lifted them to sixth in the Premier League table, three points ahead of Newcastle and Manchester United in seventh and eighth. They need to avoid defeat on Sunday to secure sixth place and qualify for the Europa League, provided Manchester United do not win the FA Cup final. If Chelsea win and Spurs lose at Sheffield United, the Blues could climb to fifth, guaranteeing Europa League football regardless of the FA Cup outcome.

Chelsea have been strong at home, winning nine of their last 11 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge and scoring 32 goals in the process. They are also unbeaten in their last four league games against Bournemouth, which bodes well for their chances on Sunday.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, have exceeded expectations and are in contention for a top-half finish despite starting the season without a win in their first nine matches. Head coach Andoni Iraola, a nominee for Premier League Manager of the Season, has turned the club's fortunes around, guiding them to a club-record 48 points and ensuring they sit 22 points clear of the relegation zone.

A top-10 finish was within reach, but recent losses to Arsenal and Brentford have left Bournemouth in 11th place. They need to better the result of 10th-placed Brighton, who host Manchester United, to secure a top-half finish for the first time since 2016-17.

Historically, Bournemouth have done well at Stamford Bridge, with three wins in six visits, including a 1-0 victory in December 2019. This record gives them hope of pulling off another surprise as they look to end their season on a high.


Chelsea will be missing several key players for their match against Bournemouth. Romeo Lavia (thigh), Wesley Fofana (knee), Enzo Fernandez (groin), Robert Sanchez (unspecified), and Mykhaylo Mudryk (concussion) are all sidelined. Additionally, Reece James is suspended after receiving a straight red card for kicking out at Joao Pedro on Wednesday.

Christopher Nkunku isn’t fit enough to play the full 90 minutes, but he could still make an appearance. Carney Chukwuemeka has returned to training after a knee injury but is not expected to start on Sunday.

Thiago Silva is set to feature in his final match for Chelsea before moving to Fluminense this summer, either as a starter or a substitute. Raheem Sterling might return to the starting lineup, joining Cole Palmer, Noni Madueke, and Nicolas Jackson in the attack.

For Bournemouth, Ryan Fredericks (calf) and Luis Sinisterra (hamstring) remain out. Manager Andoni Iraola hopes Romain Faivre (ankle) will be fit for Sunday, while Chris Mepham (illness) will be assessed before kickoff.

Milos Kerkez is available after serving a three-match ban and will compete with Lloyd Kelly for the left-back spot. Dominic Solanke is expected to lead the line, aiming to score his 20th league goal of the season. Neto, Philip Billing, Tyler Adams, Marcus Tavernier, and Enes Unal will also be pushing for a place in the starting XI after being substitutes in the previous game.


Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Petrovic; Gusto, Chalobah, Badiashile, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Madueke, Palmer, Sterling; Jackson

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Neto; Smith, Zabarnyi, Senesi, Kelly; Christie, Cook; Semenyo, Kluivert, Ouatarra; Solanke


Chelsea 3-2 Bournemouth

When these two teams met earlier this season, they played to a goalless draw, and another tight match is expected on Sunday. However, Chelsea will be seen as the favorites.

Bournemouth has the potential to trouble the Blues, but Chelsea has been strong at home recently. Given their current form at Stamford Bridge, we believe Pochettino's side will manage to secure the win.

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