Chelsea-Bournemouth Pre-Match Analysis: Blues in desperate need of points
Picture Source: Sports in the Zone

The return of Thibaut Courtois to the side for the first time since September due to an injury that had required surgery might end up being a good thing for Jose Mourinho’s side, as they are in desperate need of points following their current run of form in the Premier League.

The Blues currently stand in 14th place with 15 points, the worst start for a defending Premier League champion. They are five points above the relegation zone and ten points below the final European spot, for the Europa League. A kickstart to their season would have to mean consecutive wins in the league are required to achieve that goal, and the first match of December sees them host recently promoted Bournemouth.

Chelsea’s Starting 11

Jose Mourinho will looking for Thibaut Courtois to replace Asmir Begovic in goal, who has been the starting goalkeeper since the the Belgian suffered his injury. The back four is expected to be Branislav Ivanović, Kurt Zouma, Gary Cahill and César Azpilicueta. In that 4-2-3-1 formation, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic will provide support as the defensive midfielders with the wingers of Eden Hazard and Willian alongside the central attacking midfielder, Oscar.

Diego Costa, despite the controversy with him not playing last weekend against Spurs in a 0-0 draw, should start as the lone striker.

Will Costa be able to control his anger this weekend, and turn it into a blistering performance? (Image credit: Independent)
Will Costa be able to control his anger this weekend, and turn it into a blistering performance? (Image credit: Independent)

Bournemouth’s Starting 11

Eddie Howe’s Cherries will be starting with a 4-4-1-1 formation with Ryan Allsop in goal. The back four looks likely to include Simon Francis, Steve Cook, Sylvain Distin, and Charlie Daniels. The four in the midfield also has a familiar look to it, with Matt Ritchie, Andrew Surman, Dan Gosling, and Junior Stanislas set to start. Lee Tomlin is likely to occupy the centre forward role, just behind the main striker up front, Joshua King.

Tactical analysis of both sides

Chelsea will have to rely mostly on the wingers of Hazard and Willian to provide and create various chances to score, as well as Diego Costa to move forward and create havoc with Bournemouth's defence. If they can defend well from the flanks, as well as having the defensive midfielders support the backline and hold out, it’ll make Bournemouth’s job much harder.

For the Cherries, they know they must get the points needed to get out of the relegation zone. Their best bet to have someone such as Tomlin or even King to be dangerous moving forward and creating problems. Their defence has conceded 13 goals in five games, which explains why they've been struggling, and they have to be well aware and attentive for the entire 90 minutes.