Chelsea vs BurnleyEnglish Premier League, KO: 20:00 Apr 22, 2019, Stamford Bridge
CHELSEA have not suffered a home Premier League defeat on a Monday since 1994 and will be aiming to keep that record intact when they host in form Burnley on Easter Monday.
More importantly, Maurizio Sarri will be hoping his side can strengthen their top-four challenge and capitalise on their rivals failings over Easter weekend.
After securing a place in the last four of the Europa League last Thursday, it has been widely suggested that succeeding in that competition represents the Blues best opportunity of reaching the more illustrious Champions League next season.
However, following Arsenal’s shock setback at home to Crystal Palace on Easter Sunday coupled with Manchester United’s mauling on Merseyside at the hands of Everton, Sarri’s side now have the chance to slip into third spot in the Premier League.
The Italian seen his side suffer defeat in their last league outing at Anfield and afterwards bemoaned his sides sloppy start to the second half – a trend which has become a recurring theme in recents weeks, as demonstrated against Slavia Prague last time out.
However, prior to that defeat against title chasing Liverpool the Blues had won three on the bounce and followed that run up by performing admirably against the current league leaders despite not getting anything to show for their efforts.
The West London side will now be eager follow up Thursday’s European success by swiftly getting back to winning ways domestically. Furthermore, Chelsea are now presented with the opportunity to leapfrog their London rivals Arsenal and Spurs should they overcome what will be a stern test in the shape of Sean Dyche’s Burnley.
Buoyed by three wins on the spin Burnley will go into this bank holiday battle high in confidence following valuable victories against Wolves, Bournemouth and Cardiff respectively.
After a troublesome start to this campaign Claret’s boss Dyche continues to work wonders with the Lancashire side and is on course to deliver a commendable fourth successive season of top flight football at Turf Moor.
In doing so the Burnley boss guided his side to three points in their last Premier League away fixture against Bournemouth, however their only other triumphs on the road this campaign have come against three of the the Premier League’s current bottom four.
You can be rest assured that Dyche’s men will roll up their sleeves and dig in at Stamford Bridge, even more so in the knowledge that the Claret’s can mathematically safeguard their place in next season's Premier League this Easter Monday.
In doing so Burnley will in all probability defend deep and in numbers in an effort to contain the Blues, who will more than likely enjoy the majority of the possession in attempting to break down a typically stubborn Sean Dyche side.
The key to unlocking the Burnley backline could lie with Chelsea’s key man, Eden Hazard. The blues number 10 has been in irresistible form of late and Dyche’s troops could be powerless in preventing the the brilliant Belgian from lighting up Stamford Bridge on Monday night. Given his sumptuous form as well as being the blues penalty taker I will be backing Hazard to score first at 3/1 (Bet 365).
Hazard was deployed through the middle at Anfield in a false number nine role by Sarri but should the Blues talisman be restored to his more natural role on the left wing, it could spell trouble for Burnley right back Matthew Lowton.
The Claret’s defender has accumulated five yellow cards this season to date, and should he be tasked with handling the scintillating Hazard, his card count for the campaign could easily become six. Back Lowton to be booked at 3/1 (Bet 365)
Chelsea’s home form has been excellent against the Premier League’s bottom half sides and they haven't been troubled in successfully negotiating similar fixtures this season. Therefore the Blues are naturally big favourites to win on the night at 1/4(Bet 365)
Although I’m backing Chelsea to prevail with all three points, I do not hold out much hope for this being a classic encounter. Burnley will almost certainly be dogged and well organised and as such could make it a tough night for Sarri’s side, as well as the viewing public.
Chelsea should seize their chance to go third and in seeing off a solid Burnley side their could be value in backing Chelsea to win and under 2.5 goals which is on offer at 11/4 (Boylesports)
This English Premier League match between Chelsea and Burnley will be played on Apr 22, 2019 and kick off at 20:00