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Bournemouth

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Eden Hazard was the Man of the Match as Chelsea beat Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium last time out. The last time Antonio Conte’s men earned a clean sheet was in a rampant 0-4 victory over Stoke City on 23rd of September.

And the Chelseaadmits confidence is rising after the 0-1 against the Cherries: “We want to keep the confidence high and for this we have to win every game. – he told the club’s official website – Now we go Tuesday to Roma to win the game and be ready for the game after”.

Chelsea managed to reduce the gap to Tottenham after the Spurs lost against Manchester United on Saturday at Old Trafford:The season is long, you never know what is going to happen, – said Hazard – They are top of the league and play well, they score a lot of goals but you never know – injury, bad form – so we will see. We want to be at the top of the league at the end of the season, we have a lot of games to play so we will see at the end”.

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Alvaro Morata was absolutely quick in recovering from a muscular problem suffered in the Premier League game against Manchester City just one month ago. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has praised the Spaniard for his ‘commitment and desire’: “I am happy with his commitment and desire, and will to fight. – he said – Don’t forget he is recovering from a muscular problem. I am very happy for his performance. A lot of time he recovered a very important ball in transition”.

Several players are still working hard to find the best shape: “During the game I try to give support to the players. Not only today. For us it is very important to overcome this period. We started this period with a lot of problems. Hazard with a surgery, he is an important player. Then with Pedro and two red cards, and injury with Kante and Moses, to recover Drinkwater: we faced a lot of problems”.

Chelsea reduced their gap on Tottenham Hotspur, going level on points with Arsenal sitting 4th in the league table. “We tried to do our best in every moment. – Conte added – All the other teams all win, Tottenham lost but the other top teams won”.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed midfielder N’Golo Kante is about to recover from muscular injury, after the Frenchman returned to full training this week.

When asked if Kante could feature against AS Roma in Champions League, Conte said: “I hope he could be ready. You know very well the importance of this player, so I want to be sure if he is ready”.

“I hope to have him in this game, but I don’t want to take a risk: if he is ready, he plays” he added.

With Kante sidelined with a hamstring injury, Danny Drinkwater made his Premier League debut for Chelsea this afternoon against Bournemouth.

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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes his side deserved to win against Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium today, and this victory will be vital ahead of upcoming Champions League clash against Roma in Italy.

“For sure we played a good game, good football and I must be pleased for this and the performance – he said – For a big part of the game we handled very well, with maturity and with a good possession and find the right ball to break the line. We created many chances to score. We needed to be more clinical as you have to be able to kill the game. At the end you could draw, but I think we deserved to win for our confidence before Roma in the Champions League. I think I saw a lot of positive things”.

Chelsea will face the Giallorossi at Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night, with the Serie A side currently playing their Serie A game against Bologna.

Asked again on today’s tough game, Conte added: “When you create chances to score it is right to take these chances. If you keep the result only 1-0 then you risk the draw. For us the win was very important, against Watford and then continue against Everton. Now to prepare in the best way in the Champions League”.

“The only negative aspect is that we could have scored more. They were well organised, a good coach. Here Man City won in the last minute of the game. Honestly, last season we won 3-1 but today we played better than last season. We controlled the game”.

“We are first in the CL in our group – Conte reminded – And we have got further in the Carabao Cup. I am very happy for this group, the players are very honest and want to fight for something important. If we are able to do this, I don’t know. We know very well in England, in this league, there are 6 top teams very strong”.

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Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was really disappointed after his side’s home defeat against the Premier League champions this afternoon.

Chelsea star Eden Hazard gave Blues the lead exploiting a counter-attack before scoring from a close range: “The goal was very disappointing with the mistakes leading to it” Howe admitted, speaking after the clash.

“Too passive in the first half, with the quality that they have. Positive were we were 0-0 at half-time and we could change the shape. Jermain was a tactical decision but we need to manage his minutes. Crisis is a commonly used word. I back the players to work it out”.

“We pressed the ball a lot better in the second half, but it was only Steve Cook’s shot that really pressed them. It’s frustrating and a challenge to work out. I don’t see a problem with us in the squad but I have to find the right formula”.

Then Howe praised former Blues’ goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who joined the Cherries from Chelsea on a permanent move last summer: “I have been pleased with the way he has started his career here” Howe confirmed.

Bournemouth are struggling with positive results after picking up just 2 wins from 10 games so far, sitting currently 19th in the league table.

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Chelsea won a vital game against Bournemouth today. A goal from Eden Hazard secured the Blues their 6th victory in 2017/18 campaign, which means the Premier League champions are competitive to fight for the title with Manchester City, Tottenham and Manchester United.

Good performance from fully-recovered Danny Drinwater in midfield, while Eddie Howe’s side remain in the relegation zone.

Antonio Conte’s men are now level on points with Arsenal, sitting 4th after getting 19 points from 10 games. Tottenham Hotspur remain 3rd with 20 points, following their away defeat against the Red Devils earlier this afternoon.

 

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Still no goals between Bournemouth and Chelsea at half time, with the referee disallowing an Alvaro Morata goal for offside.

Antonio Conte‘s side has to win if they want to “respond” to Manchester United and Manchester City who defeated earlier Tottenham and West Bromwich Albion.

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Team News

CHELSEA

 

  • Victor Moses is still out for injury
  • N’Golo Kante out as well, he might return for the Champions League clash against AS Roma
  • Pressure on Alvaro Morata to give a good performance tomorrow
  • Conte insists Danny Drinkwater, who made his Chelsea debut in the 2-1 Carabao Cup victory over Everton in midweek, still lacks match fitness.

Provisional Squad: Courtois, Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Fabregas, Morata, Hazard, Pedro, Bakayoko, Luiz, Kenedy, Musonda, Zappacosta, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Clarke-Salter, Scott, Eduardo, Ampadu, Sterling.

BOURNEMOUTH 

  • Josh King could miss Bournemouth’s Premier League clash with Chelsea after picking up a back complaint
  • The Norwegian forward has been sent for a scan to determine the extent of the problem, which has come straight after he recovered from a virus.
  • Jermain Defoe has shaken off a hamstring issue, but Ryan Fraser is battling a knock.

Provisional Squad: Begovic, Ake, Francis, A Smith, Daniels, L Cook, Stanislas, Pugh, Surman, Afobe, Defoe, Boruc, S Cook, Gosling, Mousset, Arter, Ibe, King, Fraser.

Predicted Line-Ups

BOURNEMOUTH – Begovic, Smith, Francis, Ake, Daniels, Ibe, Cook, Surman, Stanislas, Mousset, Afobe

CHELSEA – Courtois, Rudiger, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Alonso, Pedro, Morata, Hazard

 

Kick Off: 5.30 pm BST

Venue: Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, UK

Referee: Craig Pawson

 

 

 

 

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Nathan Ake will meet again his former teammates as Chelsea face Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium today. The Dutchman told Standard Sport: “I have no regrets, no way. I am still 100 per cent happy with my decision. 

Ake joined Chelsea at the age of 16, spending 6 years at Stamford Bridge with loan spells at Reading, Watford and Bournemouth. And the Cherries are currently struggling with 7 points, sitting 19th in the league table.

“It is still early in the season. – Ake insists – We didn’t start the season well, but the quality of our football is coming back, we are scoring good goals. The defending is getting better too. It’s just about picking up more points and we will do that with the quality we have in the squad.”

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“Bournemouth are a really good team” Conte said, when asked whether the next opponents could create some problems to Chelsea defense. “Yes, we must pay attention as they play very well. – Conte added – This will be a really tough game against a team whose position is not right in the table now”.

The Cherries have players who spent several seasons at Stamford Bridge, as the Italian manager noted: “They played a lot of games very well, and sometimes they were unlucky. I have, and my players must have, great respect for Bournemouth, and their coach who is really good. Tomorrow I also have the opportunity to say hello to [Nathan] Ake and [Asmir] Begovic, two important players of last season”.

Conte added: “In England, in the Premier League, easy games don’t exist, you must pay great attention if you are playing a top team or a team who is fighting in the relegation zone. This league is very tough. You must be focused on every game, and for sure you must lose a lot of energy in every game”.

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