Chelsea will be hoping to pick up their first win under new manager Thomas Tuchel when they play hosts to Burnley at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
Chelsea will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League when they lock horns with a resurgent Burnley outfit at Stamford Bridge on Sunday noon.
Chelsea ushered in a new era earlier this week as Thomas Tuchel replaced club legend, Frank Lampard, as the new manager. The German tactician’s first game in charge, however, did not go as per plans, as the Blues were held to a goalless draw by Wolves, meaning they are without a win in their last two league matches.
Currently eighth in the standings, seven points below Liverpool in fourth, the west London giants will need to pick up some steam if they are to retain any hopes of a top-four finish. However, things will not be made easy by a Burnley outfit that has been on a resurgent run of late.
After a torrid start to the campaign, Sean Dyche’s men have hit their strides of late, winning their last three games in all competitions that include league wins against Liverpool (1-0) and Aston Villa (3-2). This has lifted the Clarets to the 15th position in the table, nine points clear of the drop zone and they will be striving to continue their ascent.
The reverse fixture played at Turf Moor in October last year ended 3-0 in favour of Chelsea, with goals coming from Hakim Ziyech, Kurt Zouma and Timo Werner. Ahead of their latest meeting on Sunday noon, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Chelsea have been handed a boost heading into the game as midfielder N’Golo Kante is fit again after missing the last few matches due to a hamstring issue. There are no other fitness or suspension concerns for Thomas Tuchel as he looks to pick up his first win as the Blues’ boss.
Having set his team up with a three-man defensive unit against Wolves, the new manager is expected to stick with the same shape on Sunday, with some changes likely to be made across the pitch. In goal, there is no looking past Edouard Mendy, who is the first-choice ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger should be retained in the three-man backline, but there could be one change, with Kurt Zouma likely to come in for Cesar Azpilicueta, with the Frenchman’s physicality set to come in handy against the robust Burnley forwards.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was one of the most impressive performers for Chelsea against Wolves and should continue in his new right wing-back role while Ben Chilwell is a certain starter on the opposite wing. Kante ought to return in midfield where he will be partnered by Mason Mount, who can provide that bit of forward thrust against a Burnley side that will look to sit deep and defend.
The creative onus will fall on the shoulders of Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech, who will take up the attacking midfield slots. The latter will look to play in the inside-right channel, allowing space for Hudson-Odoi to make overlapping runs while Havertz is likely to operate much more centrally. Timo Werner should replace Olivier Giroud at the top.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Zouma, Silva, Rudiger; Hudson-Odoi, Kante, Mount, Chilwell; Ziyech, Havertz; Werner
Unlike Chelsea, Burnley have a few injury issues to contend with ahead of their trip to London. Charlie Taylor (hamstring) is a major doubt once again while Josh Brownhill (foot) is also likely to miss out after picking up a knock in the win against Aston Villa. Apart from the duo, Ashley Barnes could also be unavailable for the game due to a knock.
Sean Dyche is unlikely to make any major changes to his team or the way they will set up, with the Clarets lining up in a 4-4-2 formation in front of goalkeeper Nick Pope. The two blocks of four will likely sit deep and compact to try and deny the Chelsea attackers spaces between the lines to operate.
🗣️ | Sean Dyche: "[Charlie] Taylor is back on the grass and making progress, [Ashley] Barnes is similar – it's not major but we have to be over cautious. [Josh] Brownhill is touch and go but everyone else has come through."#FPL #FantasyPL #FFScout #GW21 #twitterclarets #chebur pic.twitter.com/vSy6kTLUXf
— Fantasy Football Scout (@FFScout) January 29, 2021
Matthew Lowton and Erik Pieters will be the two full-backs flanking the solid centre-back partnership of James Tarkowski and captain Ben Mee.
The second bank of four ought to comprise of Ashley Westwood and Jack Cork in the centre of the park, who will sit behind the ball and focus on the defensive facets. Robbie Brady and Dwight McNeil will be the men out wide, who will act as the primary outlets when Burnley do push forward on the break.
Barnes’s potential absence is a blow for Burnley given how much of a nuisance he can be at the top with his physical presence. With him likely to miss out, Jay Rodriguez is in contention to start again alongside Chris Wood against Chelsea. Matej Vydra will be an option from the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters; Brady, Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood
1. Under 2.5 Match Goals @ 2.10
2. Burnley Asian Handicap + 1.5 @ 1.900
1. Correct Scoreline – Chelsea 0-0 Burnley @ 12.00
- Chelsea have won 5 of their last 6 matches against Burnley in all competitions.
- Burnley have won just six points from their 13 Premier League fixtures against Chelsea. However, five of those six points have come at Stamford Bridge.
- Chelsea are without a win in their last three matches at home in the Premier League. The last time they went on a longer such run was in May 2016 under Guus Hiddink (five games).
- With 13 goals from 19 games, Burnley boast the second-worst goalscoring record in the Premier League this term.
- Of the 33 goals that Chelsea have scored in the Premier League this term, 29 came in their first 14 games with the last six matches just yielding four goals.
Player to Watch
After a couple of seasons where he showed plenty of promise but failed to deliver, it finally seems like Callum Hudson-Odoi is starting to live up to his potential. The England international had been a bright spark for Chelsea each time he was given a chance by former boss Frank Lampard and was their best player in Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge.
Playing in a new, unfamiliar role as the right wing-back will take some adapting for the Blues’ academy graduate, especially the defensive aspects. While he might not have a great deal of tracking back to do against Burnley, the 20-year-old could still need to deal with any potential long balls on his side or crosses at the far post, which could get tricky against the likes of Chris Wood.
So, it will be interesting to see how Hudson-Odoi rises to the challenge and continues his adaptation to his new role under a new manager. An important game beckons for the Englishman.
Chelsea 0-0 Burnley
Chelsea have enjoyed an impressive record against Burnley of late. However, things could be tricky on Sunday noon as the players are still getting accustomed to the new tactics and philosophies of their new manager, Thomas Tuchel. Burnley, meanwhile, are in a very good moment heading into the game, having picked up wins against the likes of Liverpool and Aston Villa.
Given that the Blues’ attack has been misfiring of late, they might find it hard to break through a resolute Burnley defence. The Clarets themselves have not been any prolific in front of goal and with Ashley Barnes likely to miss out, they will be further weakened at the top.
And that is why, The Hard Tackle is predicting this one to end in a goalless stalemate, much like Chelsea’s midweek game against Wolves.