With the race for the coveted Champions League spots going down to the wire, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri knows all too well that every point is vital at this stage of the season – and that means his men can’t afford many more slip-ups like last week’s 2-0 reverse to title-chasing Liverpool at Anfield. That defeat ended a run of three league wins on the spin for Chelsea and tipped the scales back in Arsenal’s favour.
Back at the Bridge this week, Sarri will be looking for his charges to maintain an impressive run of form which has seen them lose just once at home in the league this season (to Leicester City) and claim 10 victories from their last 12 at home in all competitions.
Chelsea have also lost just one of 20 Premier League games played on a Monday at Stamford Bridge – Blues fans can blame then gaffer Glenn Hoddle for the 1994 Boxing Day blemish on their record, inflicted by Man United.
Though parking the bus may be considered more of a José Mourinho tactic, Sarri’s backline have been doing their best to keep things tight on home soil as Chelsea have kept eight clean sheets from their last 11 games at Stamford Bridge, while they are tied with Liverpool for fewest league goals conceded at home this season (10). Overall, this resilience in London doesn’t bode well for Burnley.
While Sean Dyche’s men picked up a 3-2 win in this fixture last season, that doesn’t paper over the fact that they’ve lost six of their last nine meetings with the Blues – and the aforementioned shock victory is the only time they’ve won in their last 11 trips to Stamford Bridge. You have to go back to December 1961 for the last time Burnley managed back-to-back wins at Chelsea.
That said, the Clarets do come into this one on the back of three consecutive wins – the second time they’ve strung such a run together this season. They’ve scored seven times and conceded just once during that period, so Burnley will travel to London with full belief that they can repeat last season’s upset and earn some points which would keep their heads above the relegation battle.
Chelsea have scored at least twice in five of their last six home outings in the league, though, so we like the look of Chelsea -1 at 4/6 for our first punt in this Same Game Multi. We’re also backing the Blues’ defensive resilience at home to continue and trump the mercurial goalscoring talents of Chris Wood – who has three from his last two appearances – so we’re also going for away team under 0.5 goals at 4/5 in anticipation of Chelsea recording another clean sheet at the Bridge.
While relatively subdued during Chelsea’s defeat at Anfield last week, Eden Hazard is apparently courting the attention of Real Madrid right now, so we reckon he’ll stick himself in the shop window by being the first goalscorer at 3/1. Once he’s done the job here, Hazard will be able to get back to packing his bag for Spain and deciding which Belgian chocolates he should give Sarri as a parting gift.
*All odds correct at time of posting