Stamford Bridge, London
Saturday, 21st February 1500 GMT
Second-from-bottom Burnley will come into this match hoping to repeat what they did to Manchester City when they shocked them with a 2-2 draw, almost taking the full three points back home with a splendid performance on that day. The Clarets come into this match on the back of another good display in Manchester a albeit the red side of the city a but had to return home empty-handed this time around. 3 losses, 2 draws and 1 win in their last 6 is hardly any form to speak of, but they will look to the aforementioned performances and hope to get a result.
On the other end of the spectrum, Chelsea come into this on the back of a gritty 1-1 away draw at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and four league wins out the last five in the League ever since that 5-3 drubbing at White Hart Lane. The trip to Paris might result in Jose Mourinho making a few changes here and there but the spine of the first eleven in expected to be the same.
Team news and tactics
Mourinho does not have any major injury concerns coming into this fixture. Only John Obi Mikel is expected to be sidelined with a knee problem and no other players suspended too. He will, however, be expected to rotate his side given the excursion in Paris and a cup final to look forward to in a weeka s time.
The Blues will be expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Nemanja Matic and Ramires sitting in front of the back four. Cesc Fabregas, who started the game against PSG, is expected to be given some rest as he might start from the bench. The defensive combination of John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic who combined beautifully for the Chelsea goal in Paris will be expected to take their usual positions. Thibaut Courtois also produced a good performance on Tuesday and will be expected to continue in goal. The line will be led by the returning Diego Costa who could flanked on the wings by Juan Cuadrado and Eden Hazard. Willian is expected to be rested for this one.
With a major cup final on the horizon, Mourinho will be expecting to put this game early to bed and rest some of his key men. However, as we have come to see so often in the Premier League, the bottom clubs always put up a fight against the clubs near the top and hence Chelsea will be wary of this.
Possible lineup (4-2-3-1): Courtois (GK), Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic; Ramires, Matic; Hazard, Cuadrado, Oscar; Costa
Manager Sean Dyche, on the other hand, has some injury concerns prior to this match. Matthew Taylor, Dean Marney and Kevin Long are all expected to miss out while Stephen Ward might just be fit enough to make the bench after coming back from a fracture. No players are suspended for this trip.
The Clarets are expected to line up in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Scott Arfield replacing the injured Marney in the middle of midfield. The in-form attack of George Boyd and Michael Kightly will be expected to line up on the wings to support Ashley Barnes just behind the striker. The line will be led by one of the most prolific strikers in the Premier League in recent times, Danny Ings who will be hoping to score his 6th goal in 7 games for the team from Lancashire. The defence and goalkeeping options are expected to remain unchanged.
Before that last outing at Old Trafford, Dyche had selected the same starting eleven for 11 matches in a row with some results to be proud of. If only those performances would have resulted in points, Burnley could have been sitting in a relatively safer position at the moment.
Possible lineup (4-4-1-1): Heaton (GK), Mee, Trippier, Shackell, Keane; Boyd, Arfield, Jones, Kightly; Barnes; Ings
Player to watch out for
Danny Ings (Burnley)
Although the visitors have been given a very minute chance of victory away from home, if they are to do it, it should be with help from Ings. The former England under-21 international is in the form of his life and will have the weight of expectations on him to see out a Burnley victory.
- The best attack in the League (Chelsea) with 55 goals take on the worst defence in the League (Burnley) who have conceded 43 goals so far.
- Burnley have won only 2 of their last 31 away games while Chelsea have won 11 of their last 12 home matches in the League.
- Danny Ings has scored 5 goals in his last 6 appearances for the club while Costa still leads the Premier League goalscoring charts with 17 goals in 19 appearances.
Chelsea 3 a 1 Burnley
All said and done, it should be an wasy outing for the men in Blue as they look to maintain the 7-point gap over City in the race for the Premier League crown.