It was a mixed festive period for Chelsea this year. Although they maintained their dominance of the capital with victories over Spurs and Arsenal, both wins came after home defeats to Bournemouth and Southampton respectively as Lampard hasn’t managed to get his young side playing with consistency.
Fortunately for them, Burnley are now winless since before Christmas having lost to all of Everton, Man Utd and Aston Villa, as they could only muster up one goal across those fixtures.
It only looks like it’s going to get worse for the Clarets too, with their form on the road reading W2-D3-L5 with their only three pointers coming over Quique Sanchez Flores’s Watford and a Bournemouth side in the midst of their current run of eight defeats from their last 10 outings.
The Blues haven’t exactly been ruthless at Stamford Bridge this season though as only four times have they won by more than a single strike from their 16 games across all competitions, coming against Grimsby Town, Brighton, Palace and Forest, whilst that form reading just W7-D3-L6.
However, when they do win it tends to be by a narrow margin, as since October in both the Champions League and Premier League, three of their four such victories have been by exactly one goal.
Chelsea -1 Handicap Draw
Sean Dyche’s men, on the other hand, have lost by just the single strike in two of their last three defeats, including their last trip to Goodison Park and that could well be the way to go in this one.
Of course, the hosts have only won one league match at the Bridge since mid-November, losing to all of Southampton, Bournemouth and Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham in that time, as their sole victory came 2-1 over Villa, but considering how poor Burnley have been against the ‘Big Six’ and this seasons’ Leicester, we’d be surprised to see an upset.
Indeed, the Clarets have lost a pitiful nine straight fixtures against such sides dating back to a 1-0 defeat to Man City back in April and they’re certainly worth taking on.
The visitors will take confidence from the return of their striker Chris Wood, but with Ashley Barnes a doubt as well as the recently returned winger Johann Gudmundsson, they may be a little short of firepower.
The only positive will be that they’ve come away with points in both their last two visits to South West London, but with them looking out of touch and that current record against the best sides the league has to offer, we’ll go for the narrow home win.
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