Chelsea v Bournemouth preview: Antonio Conte looking forward to end of transfer window
Last Updated: 31/01/18 6:46pm
Antonio Conte is looking forward to the transfer window closing and says the speculation over incomings and departures has not helped him prepare his Chelsea side to face Bournemouth.
Chelsea are expected to be busy right up until the deadline as they chase a deal for Roma left-back Emerson Palmieri as well as a striker with Olivier Giroud and Fernando Llorente linked with moves to Stamford Bridge.
"I think for sure that it's not the best situation to prepare [for] a league game against Bournemouth but there are these types of situations you must be prepared to face," he said.
"My only hope is to finish very soon this transfer market, especially because in this way you can change the questions for me."
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Bournemouth have had a quiet month on the transfer front but Eddie Howe didn't rule out conducting some last-minute business.
"It's football you can never tell 100 per cent. I've always said during this market I don't anticipate going us to be huge players in the market, which has worked out to be the case so far but never say never," he said.
"I think all through the month we have been working very hard, we've been very conscientious of the fact that things can change and you need to be aware of the market, aware of positions and aware of players."
Chelsea will have goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois back from injury for the Premier League match against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgium international has missed the last four games due to an ankle problem, with Willy Caballero deputising.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas will also be in contention after recovering from a hamstring issue but defender David Luiz (ankle) has joined Willian (hamstring) and Alvaro Morata (back) on the sidelines.
Bournemouth will have Joshua King and Junior Stanislas available as both have recovered from injury.
However, Jermain Defoe is still absent having fractured his right ankle and defender Tyrone Mings will again miss out, owing to a back injury.
- Chelsea have won nine of their last 10 matches against Bournemouth in all competitions, losing the other 1-0 in December 2015 at Stamford Bridge in their first Premier League meeting.
- Bournemouth have failed to score in three of their five previous visits to Stamford Bridge, scoring just twice and never more than once in a game.
- Bournemouth have yet to win a Premier League game played on a Wednesday (D1 L2).
- In contrast, Chelsea have lost only one of their last 20 Premier League matches on Wednesday (W11 D8).
- The Blues have kept four consecutive clean sheets in Premier League home games - their longest such streak since a run of five in January 2015.
- The Cherries are unbeaten in five Premier League matches, alternating between a draw (3) and victory (2) each time. Their longest unbeaten run in the competition was a run of six games (W3 D3) between November and December 2015.
- Excluding own goals, only Tottenham (26) have had more Premier League goals scored via English players than Bournemouth this season (17). Meanwhile, no side has had fewer goals from English players than Chelsea (1, level with Burnley).
- Ross Barkley has had a hand in five goals in four Premier League matches versus the Cherries (two goals, three assists).
- Eden Hazard has scored five goals in his last four Premier League appearances against Bournemouth.
- Willian has had a hand in eight goals in his last five Premier League starts (3 goals, 5 assists), compared to scoring none and providing just one assist in his first seven starts in the competition this season.
There's a lot of talk about Chelsea at the moment but things are not that bad. They've lost just one game out the last 16 in the league but they are getting pelters from all sides at the moment.
It's only because Manchester City are doing so well that there's so much scrutiny on Chelsea. Antonio Conte's side would have a good season if it wasn't for what was going on at the Etihad. City have made all the other teams' seasons look pretty average really.
However, I expect them to win this against a Bournemouth side in a relegation battle and lacking in confidence. Eddie Howe's side do have a go away from home but it won't help them here.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1
Chelsea are Sky Bet's 3/10 favourites for the victory with Bournemouth up against odds of 9/1 while the draw is priced at 17/4.
The Blues are currently 9/2 to miss out on the top four while their visitors are 15/2 for relegation. Eden Hazard heads the first goalscorer betting at 4/1 while Callum Wilson is Price Boosted from 17/2 to 12/1 to break the deadlock.
Wednesday night's Premier League clashes make up the midweek Super 6 line-up, with the £1m still to be won.