Chelsea v Burnley: Lampard's side to shake off home blues
Andrew Atherley says the hosts can find some goalscoring form against the struggling visitors...
Chelsea v Burnley Saturday 11 January, 15:00
Chelsea got their home form back on track with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, earning a fourth-round tie away to Hull City, another Championship club.
That followed two consecutive home defeats in the Premier League without scoring, 1-0 against Bournemouth and 2-0 against Southampton
Those losses have given hope to Chelsea's rivals in the chase for the fourth Champions League place. The Blues occupy that position on 36 points, five ahead of Manchester United and six clear of Tottenham and Wolves.
Christian Pulisic, who scored a hat-trick when Chesea won the reverse fixture 4-2 in October, is the main doubt for Frank Lampard's side, having missed the cup win over Forest.
That could open the door for Callum Hudson-Odoi to make just his third league start of the season at Stamford Bridge following his excellent performance against Forest, with the winger scoring the opening goal and having the shot that led to the second.
On the slide
Burnley also had a confidence-boosting home win in the FA Cup third round, 4-2 against Peterborough United of League One, and will face Norwich City in the next round.
Before then Sean Dyche's side need to address their poor form in the Premier League following three straight defeats over Christmas. That leaves them 15th in the table, four points clear of the relegation zone.
Dyche will be looking to revert to the team that started the last league game, a 2-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa on New Year's Day, but Ashley Barnes went off at half-time in that match and is doubtful with a groin injury. Jay Rodriguez is likely to deputise if Barnes is absent.
Chance to shine
Chelsea rank third in the Premier League on away form but only 14th at home with a win rate of just 40% (W4 D2 L4). Their early dropped points at Stamford Bridge were against high-flying teams but most worryingly they have struggled recently against lesser teams, losing at home to West Ham and then to Bournemouth and Southampton.
All those defeats came without Lampard's side scoring and they have been short of ideas against packed defences, which could be an issue again here against a Burnley outfit that built its reputation on defensive organisation.
In April the Clarets gave Chelsea a really good test in a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge and they will surely take heart from that performance.
On the flipside Chelsea were clearly the superior team in the reverse fixture with their 4-2 win at Turf Moor, a scoreline given a modicum of respectability only by two late Burnley goals.
If Burnley can keep a clean sheet they will have a shot at victory, as other recent visitors have found, but otherwise it looks difficult for them to win. Their two away victories this season have been to nil and their record when conceding is W0 D3 L5.
This is a match Chelsea should be winning and, although the same could have been said against West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton, Burnley have shown poor form against the classier teams this season.
The Clarets' record against teams currently in the top half of the division is W0 D1 L9 and they have not kept a clean sheet in any of those games, conceding at least two goals in nine of them.
Finding the right bet is a bit tricky but Chelsea off -1.5 on the Asian handicap at 1.88 is worth a try.
Chelsea's games have been entertaining on the road but less so for home punters at Stamford Bridge, where seven out of 10 have had under 2.5 goals. Sometimes that has been because Chelsea won to nil and more recently it was because they were beaten in that fashion, but either way they have not been prolific scorers at home.
There is more chance of a decent score here because six of Burnley's 10 away games have had over 2.5 goals and their only clean sheets on the road have been against Watford and Bournemouth, who are both currently in the bottom three.
Burnley have won just one of their 11 Premier League meetings with Chelsea (D3 L7). However, five of the six points the Clarets have won against the Blues in the competition have been at Stamford Bridge (W1 D2 L2). Burnley are 4.00 on the Double Chance.