If last weekend’s games are anything to go by, this one is set to be immeasurably dull.
Chelsea offered absolutely nothing going forward at Old Trafford and only seem capable of attacking when they expose their defence so badly that they end up conceding several at the other end, while Burnley’s game against Spurs was instantly forgettable. However, Saturday’s game should be a bit more entertaining with both sides badly needing a win.
Frank Lampard, under pressure after an uninspired start to the season, will undoubtedly abandon the back five that stifled all creativity at Old Trafford in favour of a more attacking line-up and that will hopefully mean a return to the entertaining games earlier in Chelsea’s season. This is not an away trip to one of the established big clubs, so Lampard should show no fear in his team selection.
Burnley, meanwhile, simply have to attack at some stage or risk drifting through this campaign and falling through the relegation trapdoor. They can exploit Chelsea’s vulnerabilities at the back if Lampard does do away with the back five and there should be goals in this one. In a game where both sides need a win, it is Lampard’s Chelsea who have shown better form of late and should come away with three points owing to their star quality.
Werner was anonymous at Old Trafford, but he wasn’t the only Chelsea player. The German forward was often isolated and starved of service as an unrecognisable Chelsea dug in and took a goalless draw. It will be a different story on Saturday afternoon, however, and he should see more action at Turf Moor. Werner is just starting to find his feet at Stamford Bridge; his two well-taken goals at home to Southampton showed his undeniable quality, while his Champions League strike at Krasnodar will have boosted his confidence even further.
He now needs to find the back of the net on a regular basis in the league and could hardly wish for a better opportunity because Burnley are floundering in the bottom three with one point from five games. Sean Dyche’s side have uncharacteristically shipped nine goals in five league games and someone like Werner could run riot against them.
A Burnley defender will be booked on Saturday if this season’s statistics are anything to go by. The Clarets have had at least one defender booked in all five Premier League games this season and there is a very good chance that they will continue that trend against a very tricky and pacy Chelsea attack.
It will be difficult to keep the likes of Werner, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech quiet without fouling them on some occasions and Dyche’s men are likely to draw a couple of yellow cards.
Burnley will more than likely play most of this game without the ball on the edge of their own penalty area, increasing the likelihood of a defensive booking, and Tarkowski, who has already been booked this season, is the most likely candidate.
The central defender is one of the first names in Dyche’s team sheets and can therefore be relied upon to start Saturday’s game. Tarkowski will have to deal with the pace of Werner and it’s not difficult to imagine that he’ll have to resort to fouling the German at some stage.
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