Date: 30th August 2018 at 7:13pm
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Written by billythekid

After our comeback from being two down to draw 2-2 against Everton at Dean Court last Saturday and Tuesday night’s 3-0 win against MK Dons in the League Cup, the Cherries are on the relatively short trip to London to play Chelsea in the Premier League, this is their second trip to London after beating West Ham in the first away game of the new season. An interesting stat that you may or may not know is we have never drawn with Chelsea home or away.

Chelsea parted ways with their Italian manager/coach Antonio Conte after two seasons in charge. In his first season at Chelsea, he won the Premier League Title with 93 points, 7 points clear of second place Spurs. In his second season in charge Chelsea finished in fifth place on 70 points, 30 points behind runaway title winners Manchester City who finished with the ‘magic’ 100 points, 19 points in front of their neighbours Manchester United who claimed second spot.

Coming into the Chelsea ‘hot seat’ is another Italian Maurizio Sarri formerly of Napoli. Sarri never played professional football and was an amateur player and coach while working as a banker. He came into full time coaching at the relatively late age of 40. He has managed a number of clubs in his career. Gianfranco Zola returns to Chelsea and is the new manager’s assistant first team coach.

Sarri has had a good start in the Premier League with Chelsea winning their first three games. The first game was away at Huddersfield Town in a 0-3 win. Chelsea then met and beat 3-2 fellow London side Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Their last game was a 1-2 victory away at Newcastle, managed by Rafael Benitez, who Sarri replaced as manager of Napoli. Chelsea dominated most of the game against Newcastle and if you hadn’t known you would have thought Newcastle were the away side by their defensive tactics letting Chelsea dominate their half of the pitch. In this game, it was reported that Chelsea’s new signing Jorginho made 158 passes in the game, which is a new Chelsea record and second highest ever in the Premier League.

In the Summer Transfer Window, Chelsea made four signings, Sarri bringing in midfield player Jorginho from his former club Napoli, the fee is undisclosed. Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for a world record £71 million for a goalkeeper and also a club record. Also another goalkeeper Rob Green on a free transfer: he was with Huddersfield Town last season. On a season-long loan, they have signed Mateo Kovacic the Croatian midfield player from Real Madrid. This sees goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois going the other way to Real Madrid on a permanent deal.

Last season at Stamford Bridge AFCB came away with a great 0-3 victory. After going in at half-time with honours even, Callum Wilson broke the deadlock in the 51st minute after receiving a pinpoint pass from Jordan Ibe to make the score 0-1. In the 64th minute from another good move, Callum Wilson laid off a good pass to Junior Stanislas who slotted the ball past Courtois to make it 0-2. This wasn’t the end of the goals, three minutes later, Junior Stanislas the scorer of the second goal turned provider and his shot was turned in by Nathan Ake, who has a habit of being in the right place at the right time to make it 0-3, this was the final score. If you read the stats for the game and didn’t know the score, you would be forgiven for thinking that this might have been a Chelsea victory. Chelsea had 66% possession, 21 shots against the Cherries 11, but the telling factor was both sides had 5 shots on target, 3 of the Cherries shots were turned into goals.

In our games against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since we have been in the Premier League, AFCB have Won 2, Drawn 0, Lost 1. The only other time we have played Chelsea away in the league was in the 1988-89 season in the old Division 2, we lost by 2-0. In all competitions, AFCB have Won 3, Drawn 0, Lost 8.

Chelsea Team News
Cesc Fabregas has been out with a leg injury and unlikely to be available for Saturday. Chelsea have a very strong squad to pick from after winning their opening three games.

Chelsea Player To Watch
They have a few players to choose from, but it has to be Eden Hazard, he has a good goal scoring record against us, scoring in 4 out of our 6 Premier League games so far, his total is 5 goals, he got a brace in the game at Dean Court in the 2015-16 season, our first season in the top league. He is a very hard working player and seems to be buzzing around the pitch and a player who you need to watch all the time.

AFCB Team News
Lys Mousset is a doubt with an ankle injury picked up against MK Dons on Tuesday night. Marc Pugh has a hamstring injury. Junior Stanislas still out with a knee injury. Can’t see Eddie making any changes to the side that has won 2 and drawn 1 so far in the best start we have had since being promoted to the Premier League. He has new signings Diego Rico and Jefferson Lerma available now if he wants to make any changes, but expect they will start on the bench.

AFCB Player To Watch
Going to go for Callum Wilson, looking good this season so far, was also MOM in the fixture at Stamford Bridge back in January.

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