Bournemouth vs Chelsea preview: Gonzalo Higuain set for Premier League debut
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Last Updated: 30/01/19 4:17pm
Gonzalo Higuain is set to make his Premier League debut for Chelsea as they travel to Bournemouth on Wednesday night.
The 31-year-old striker, signed on loan from Juventus, knows Maurizio Sarri's style of play well - he managed 36 goals under the Italian in the 2015/16 season, breaking the record for the most goals scored in a Serie A season.
Chelsea supporters got their first look at Higuain in action for their club as he made his debut in their 3-0 FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.
Bournemouth midfielder Dan Gosling is well aware of the threat Chelsea carry in forward areas.
"Higuain is a great forward who has been around for many years and has scored goals for top clubs," he said.
"He is going to be a threat but if Eden Hazard plays as a false nine, he is a threat and if (Olivier) Giroud plays, he has come here and scored before.
"They have top-quality players all over the pitch so we will not just worry about one striker."
Callum Wilson is likely to face a late fitness test for Bournemouth.
Wilson sustained a knee injury during the closing stages of the Cherries' 2-0 victory over West Ham at Vitality Stadium 10 days ago.
Dominic Solanke remains a few weeks away from full fitness after hamstring trouble while fellow new signing Chris Mepham is in the squad.
Eden Hazard should be restored to the Chelsea team after he was rested against Sheffield Wednesday.
Callum Hudson-Odoi is unlikely to start after the youngster handed in a transfer request in order to push through a move to Bayern Munich.
- Bournemouth have lost their last five home meetings with Chelsea in all competitions, since a 1-0 win in the second tier in September 1988.
- Chelsea have beaten Bournemouth twice already this season, winning 2-0 in the reverse league fixture and 1-0 in a League Cup match.
- Bournemouth's only previous Premier League victory on a Wednesday was a 3-0 victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last season.
- Bournemouth are looking to secure back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time since October following their 2-0 win over West Ham last time out.
- Chelsea - who lost at Arsenal last time out - haven't lost consecutive Premier League games since March 2018. The Blues haven't scored more than twice in any of their last 12 Premier League matches, since beating Crystal Palace 3-1 in November.
- Only the Etihad (50) has seen more Premier League goals than Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium this season coming into this round of matches (38 - F21 A17).
- Chelsea are the only side whose Premier League games are yet to see a single red card this season, while Bournemouth have seen their opponent have a player sent off a league-high six times so far in 2018-19.
- Hazard has had a hand in eight goals in his last eight games against Bournemouth in all competitions (7 goals, 1 assist).
This looks like a difficult game for Chelsea on paper.
However, a big positive for Chelsea is the fact they rested Hazard against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.
Bournemouth love to go forward, especially at home, so this will be an open game. That will suit Chelsea and I think they will have too much for Eddie Howe's side.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (12/1 with Sky Bet)