It’s worth pointing out, that before you go nailing colours to the mast on an odds-on poke about Chelsea, that Burnley have taken more points in the last ten days than Chelsea have since Christmas.
And while The Blues may have a new-look, prep-boy free focus now that Frank has gone back to modelling for H&M with his Ant and Dec-chic partner Jamie Redknapp, it’s not quite as simple as just improving overnight. If anything, Tuchel’s approach is going to be a slow grind.
Sunday 12pm – Chelsea v Burnley
BT Sport 1
They’ll keep the ball brilliantly, and their near-80% possession stats against Wolves are indicative of that, but Burnley are in the best line of form they’ve been in all season and will ultimately want Chelsea to have all the ball. Five shots on target might not be enough to beat Burnley, so they’ll have to improve markedly to take all three points here.
Also, has there ever been two managers in opposite dugouts more opposite in their personas than these two? If the match is rubbish, I’m hoping the broadcasters just focus on the touchline. Anyway, here’s three punts that could land us in the money for Sunday’s action.
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The short-price option: Half Time – Draw
Getting up to speed when you’re switching from a counter-attacking focus to possession is tough. Largely because you’re used to your build-up having slightly more space, and it being one-touch as well as often not being subject to severe numerical disadvantage. A lot of people will go into this betting market thinking they should view it like PSG against Burnley. That’s really not the case – nor do Chelsea have the midfield three to be capable at picking out clever passes between a low block setup.
There’s going to be a lot of frustrated Blues fans when their wingers frequently drop into central areas to pick up the ball before laying it back to full-backs and getting back in position. If it does click for Chelsea, it won’t be early.
The Value Punt: Burnley and the Draw
There’s a real sense that Burnley grow into games as they go on, and Chelsea (as we know) get more frustrated. There’ll also be a lack of urgency early doors from Tuchel because he knows his credentials are strong and he’s a philosophy manager who’ll spout the fact he needs longer than everyone else for the ultimate pay-off.
If they go on to draw this game nil-all, which I think is entirely possible, Chelsea will probably tweet out more nonsense about passes and the Brexit crew will subtweet it adoring a new style of play that’s produced two points in consecutive home game against Burnley and Wolves without a goal.
The Long Shot: Mason Mount to Score First
I suspect Mount will play in this given he had positive impact off the bench against Wolves in his 10-minute cameo. My logic here is that he’s first-choice free-kick taker in a game where there’ll be very few clear-cut chances and a lot of fouls outside the box on players with quick feet. Even if he came off the bench, I’d fancy there hadn’t been a goal at that stage anyway.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at time of publication but subject to change
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