Chelsea V AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview

By
24 December 2016
Chelsea V AFC Bournemouth - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Chelsea pair Diego Costa and N'Golo Kante suspended for Bournemouth clash

Striker Diego Costa and midfielder N'Golo Kante serve one-match suspensions when Chelsea play Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

The Premier League leaders could turn to Michy Batshuayi to replace 13-goal Costa or switch from the 3-4-3 formation which has seen them win 11 straight league games.

Club captain John Terry remains out with a gluteal strain.

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte hopes to enjoy his first experience of festive football.

The Blues enter the Christmas and New Year programme with a six-point lead in the Premier League.

Conte's side play at home to Bournemouth on Boxing Day and Stoke on New Year's Eve and at Tottenham on January 4.

And the former Juventus midfielder and boss and Italy head coach is looking forward to a time many managers, both native and foreign, have lamented.

"This is the first experience for me and my family, to work, to play football (at this time of year)," Conte said.

"It can be, and I hope it will be, a fantastic experience."

Junior Stanislas and Andrew Surman could be in contention for Bournemouth.

Manager Eddie Howe is planning to make a late decision on the fitness levels of Stanislas, who has not featured since the beginning of the month because of ankle trouble, and Surman - who has been unavailable since October due to a hamstring problem.

Lewis Cook remains sidelined due to an ankle injury.

Howe believes beating Chelsea last season will be a good inspiration.

The Cherries overcame the Blues 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in a week which also saw them beat Manchester United 2-1 at the Vitality Stadium and Howe is confident that it will help them on Monday.

Howe said: "It should help us, that we won there before. If you have done it once, you can do it again.

"I don't think it is a case of which Bournemouth side turns up, I think we have been inconsistent - our performances have shown that.

"Results like (the 4-3 win against Liverpool at the beginning of December), just reaffirm the idea that we can beat anybody.

"We proved that last year beating Chelsea and Manchester United in a short space of time. You need everything to go your way and you need a little bit of luck.

"(The result against Chelsea last year) has to be up there but I don't know if it is the best.

"It was a great day for the club and it was a mark for how far the club has come and it is a day that everyone will remember. I think for us, we need to create more moments.

"We haven't made dramatic changes to the squad so the majority of the players will be there again and sometimes a good result at a place can inspire those memories to come back and certainly that is what we hope."


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