By Danny Lewis
Last year Chelsea were champions of England and Bournemouth were in the Championship.
However, they currently find themselves separated by only four places in the table. Nonetheless, this will be a big test for the Cherries as they look to build on the 3-3 draw against Everton.
Chelsea have not been quite the force that they were last season. However, after a 0-0 draw with Tottenham in their last outing they will be looking to get back to their winning ways.
Despite Bournemouth’s long injury list, they will be hoping to come up with an upset and get at least a point to help them get out of the relegation zone.
They have picked up two draws in their last two games and it would be a help if they could make it three games unbeaten.
Chelsea have made a much slower start than they would have expected, while Bournemouth had a tough introduction to the Premier League and so after recent improvements, both teams will be looking to get some more points on the board and begin to build momentum.
The two sides have only had two league meetings, which occurred when the sides played in the Second Division during the 1988/89 season, where they both won one game apiece.
They have also played three games in cup competition and Chelsea have won all three of these meetings. Their most recent meeting came in the League Cup in the 1994/95 season, where Chelsea won both legs 1-0.
Chelsea will be without their leader John Terry, as well as Falcao and Ramires; although they can be buoyed by the return of Thibaut Courtois and the fact that Nemaja Matic will be able to play, despite having to wear a face mask to do so.
AFC Bournemouth will be without Marc Pugh, Tommy Elphick, Max Gradel, Callum Wilson, Tyrone Mings, Christian Atsu and Adam Federici. Harry Arter is also a doubt.
It is unknown whether Artur Boruc will be available for the game; if he’s not available then Ryan Allsop will be in line for his first Premier League start.
Chelsea 2 – 1 AFC Bournemouth
Both sides are coming into the game without some of their key players and off of the back of a draw. However, Chelsea are likely to come out on top, although it should be a close encounter.
Chelsea have had some defensive frailties in recent times, which Bournemouth could capitalise on.
However, if Chelsea’s big name players start looking like the players they were last season again, then they should be able to come out on top.