Chelsea’s mini-revival looks set to gather pace this weekend, with struggling Bournemouth the visitors to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues’ defence of their Premier league crown has been laughable at times this season, with off-field antics often detracting from their below-par performances.
However, Jose Mourinho seems to have steadied the ship in recent weeks, with his side losing just one of their last five matches.
The west Londoners look set to pick up a fourth win in six against Bournemouth, with the injury-ravaged Cherries losing four and drawing one of their last five games away from Dean Court.
That form is reflected in the odds for this tea-time tie, with Chelsea the heavy favourites at 4/11, the draw at 15/4 and Bournemouth considered clear underdogs at 15/2.
The teams haven’t met since 1994 but those who like to study such things could note that four of their five previous clashes have seen the winning side keep a clean sheet.
Bournemouth had the best of their first competitive encounter, a 1-0 win in 1988, but it’s been all Chelsea since, with the Blues running out 2-0, 3-2, 1-0 and 1-0 winners in the four meetings since.
As such, the even-money on Chelsea keeping a clean sheet could be the way to go.
When it comes to goalscorers however, Chelsea have been a tougher nut to crack this year.
Last year’s star striker Diego Costa, has gone from a 20-goal machine to someone not guaranteed a starting berth, while the usually-reliable Eden Hazard is yet to get off the mark in league action.
The Belgian’s poor run can’t go on forever, though, and Ladbrokes have boosted the former Lille man to come good this weekend, enhancing the odds on Hazard scoring in a Chelsea win from 13/8 to 9/4.
And with the game screened live on Sky Sports Ladbrokes will also double the odds on any winning first goalscorer selection if the first goal is netted within 25 minutes.*
This makes Ramires a worthy shout at 14/1, with no Chelsea player opening the scoring more times than the Brazilian midfielder this season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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