Bournemouth v Chelsea
Wednesday 30 January, 19:45

Bournemouth fresh from weekend off

Bournemouth will be the fresher of the two teams, having had no FA Cup involvement at the weekend and an 11-day break since their 2-0 home win over West Ham.
That was the first victory in a month for Eddie Howe's team and only their third win in any competition since the start of November, during which time they have gone from sixth to 12th in the Premier League and been knocked out of the Carabao Cup (by Chelsea, 1-0 away) and FA Cup.
Howe could go with the same starting XI from the West Ham match, with Artur Boruc staying in goal instead of Asmir Begovic.

Chelsea firing on all fronts

Chelsea's last Premier League match 11 days ago was a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal but since then Maurizio Sarri's side have beaten Tottenham on penalties to reach the Carabao Cup final and advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 home win over Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.
The FA Cup match marked the first appearance of Gonzalo Higuain, on loan from Juventus until the end of the season, and possibly the last of academy teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is heavily linked with Bayern Munich and has handed in a transfer request.
Hudson-Odoi was the one who got on the scoresheet against Wednesday, along with a brace from Willian, but the manager has his hopes pinned on Higuain as the player to unlock the secrets of 'Sarri ball' after their successful time together at Napoli.
Higuain's arrival allows Sarri to move Eden Hazard back to his preferred position on the left side as he starts to shape Chelsea's attack more to his liking.

Big-six domination

Bournemouth's struggles since the autumn can be attributed largely to a tough run of fixtures against the big six, which raises doubt about their prospects here.
Howe's team have lost all seven matches against the big six since the start of November, including the cup game at Chelsea, and three of the seven defeats have been at home.
They also lost 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League in September, which means you have to go back to this matchday 12 months ago (and 11 games) to find the last time
Bournemouth took anything against a big-six side.
That was a 3-0 victory away to Chelsea, however, which should serve as a warning to the visitors.
It looks like a blip, however, as Bournemouth avoided defeat in just one other match against the big six last season and Chelsea's only other defeat against the Cherries in nine meetings as Premier League sides was a 1-0 home loss in the dog days of Jose Mourinho's second spell in charge.
Chelsea, then, have won all seven matches when scoring against Bournemouth while Howe's side have a poor record when allowing big-six sides to score (one win and 19 defeats since the start of last season).
Will Chelsea score? Probably, having found the net in 30 of their 37 matches in all competitions under Sarri (three of the blanks came against big-six teams).
What's more, Sarri's side have won 25 of those 30 scoring games and three of the failures came against big-six teams.
A Chelsea win has to be strongly favoured but it is worth looking for an odds boost and the bet that appeals is Chelsea off -1 on the Asian handicap at [2.11].
Basically that means banking on a Chelsea win, with stakes returned for a one-goal margin but a winning bet for anything above that.

Goals high for Cherries

Bournemouth rank third in the Premier League for matches with over 2.5 goals (73% away, 67% at home) and since the start of last season 13 of their 18 Premier League matches against big-six sides (72%) have gone over that mark.
Chelsea's overall goals figures are close to the league average but are higher on the road, with 73% of their away games going over 2.5 goals.
That makes over 2.5 goals a decent bet at 1.70.

Opta Stat

Chelsea have beaten Bournemouth twice already this season, winning 2-0 in the reverse league fixture and 1-0 in a League Cup match. A Chelsea win to nil is available at 2.96.
RECOMMENDED BETS
Back Chelsea off -1 on Asian Handicap at [2.11]


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