Bournemouth v Chelsea preview: Josh King a doubt for Cherries
Last Updated: 28/10/17 4:27pm
Bournemouth could again be without striker Josh King when they face Premier League champions Chelsea on Saturday.
The Norway international has been sent for a scan to determine the extent of a back problem, which has come straight after he recovered from a virus.
King has missed Bournemouth's last two games against Stoke in the league and Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup, both of which the Cherries have won.
"There's been a boost in the squad, we've been really pleased with the last two results," said manager Eddie Howe. "We now move onto another big game here, the mood here's very good.
"It's a long season and we didn't want to become detached, so the Stoke win was important. More importantly, it was about building confidence and getting the good feeling back in the squad, that's been carried through this week as well."
Chelsea, who are nine points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, have also won their last two games after failing to win any of the three before them.
This match marks the start of a tricky run for Chelsea, with five of their next six fixtures away from home, and their only game at Stamford Bridge coming against Manchester United.
Jermain Defoe has shaken off a hamstring issue for Bournemouth, but Ryan Fraser is battling a knock.
Danny Drinkwater (calf), N'Golo Kante (hamstring) and Victor Moses (hamstring) will miss out again for Chelsea but Antonio Conte hopes to have the latter back for the Champions League trip to Roma on Tuesday.
Chelsea have won four of their five previous away games against Bournemouth in all competitions, losing the other in September 1988.
This is Bournemouth's lowest points total (7) after nine games of a Premier League season. Last season they had collected 12 points and in 2015-16 they had eight.
Jermain Defoe is the only player to score in the Premier League against Chelsea for four different clubs (Tottenham, West Ham, Sunderland and Portsmouth) and could extend that to five clubs in this game. There have been seven previous occasions of a player scoring against an opponent for five different teams in Premier League history.
Eden Hazard has scored four goals in four Premier League appearances against Bournemouth, with three of those strikes arriving on the south coast.
Michy Batshuayi has scored six goals as a substitute in the Premier League since the start of last season; only Olivier Giroud has more (7) while Oumar Niasse also has six.
Chelsea weren't too convincing against Watford but they still scored four goals. That's the quality they possess.
Their problem this season seems to be they have lost that solidity at the back. Last season their defensive three was so strong and it was hard to score against them, you had to work really hard. Now that doesn't seem the case.
Bournemouth might score in front of their home fans but I still think Chelsea will have miles too much for them to get a result.
Paul predicts: 1-3 (Sky Bet odds 11/1)
Chelsea are warm 8/13 favourites to leave Bournemouth with all three points on Saturday evening, with the Cherries at 4/1 and the draw 3/1. Alvaro Morata is 11/4 for the game's first goal, with Michy Batshuayi 7/2 and Eden Hazard 9/2, while Jermain Defoe is considered the hosts' main threat at 7/1.