Cherries boss hails Chelsea's performances

Cherries boss hails Chelsea's performances

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe believes that table topping Chelsea have been 'very impressive' this season.

Kaustubh Pandey

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe insists that the Cherries' Boxing Day opponents Chelsea have been very impressive this season, saying that his side will have nothing to lose on Monday.

The Cherries slumped to a disappointing 3-1 last week at home to South Coast rivals Southampton, despite going one up early in the game through Nathan Ake. Three unanswered goals from the Saints meant that Howe's men slumped to tenth in the table.

"We can go into the game with confidence"

Chelsea, who picked up a solid 1-0 win over Crystal Palace last week, are currently on a 11 game unbeaten streak and have shown glimpses of mesmerizing football under Antonio Conte. The 3-4-3 formation, which came as a result of fiddling around with the 4-1-4-1 and the 4-2-4, has been a key to their system.

Two vital parts of their system though, Diego Costa and N'Golo Kante, will miss the game against the Cherries. But, Howe hailed Cesc Fabregas' performance against Palace as being 'excellent' and told that the game will be a tough one 'regardless of who plays.'

Speaking about his side's own situation though, Howe told reporters that they will come back 'a better team' after their defeat to the Saints on Sunday. He also referred to the game against the Blues as being 'a good challenge.'

The Englishman heaped further praise on Conte's side and lauded their attacking and defensive style. Howe told: "They're solid at the back and free flowing going forward."

The beginning of a tough winter period 

Bournemouth may be as close as they could have been to a European spot, but their fixtures in the packed Christmas period could be vital to where they finish this season.

After the clash at Stamford Bridge, the Cherries face a tricky trip to the Liberty Stadium to face Bob Bradley's Swansea City, followed by a home clash at Arsenal in mid-week.