The final of today’s magnificent seven Premier League fixtures takes us to the South Coast as Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth play host to Chelsea as they look to build on the momentum that a much welcomed win over Stoke last weekend would have provided.
The Cherries may find themselves 19th in the table at present but it was an important result last weekend as defeat would have seen them begin to be cast adrift at the bottom table alongside the perennial basement club which is Crystal Palace.
The win over Stoke last weekend has just tightened things up at the bottom of the table with three points separating 13th in the table West Brom and Bournemouth in 19th. A win today could well see them pulled out of the bottom three but first they will have to get the better of the defending champions Chelsea.
Bournemouth are certainly struggling for goals, the fact that Andrew Surman is the clubs top goalscorer in the league this season with just two goals to his name speaks volumes. The fact that they have only scored six from their first nine matches speaks even louder.
Not only that but after the arrival of former Chelsea men Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake in the summer the belief was that the defence would be shored up, if anything it has regressed. The blame obviously cannot be shouldered with those two but one clean sheet from their last five tells its own story.
Chelsea come into this game off the back of a win over Watford although it is one that certainly had to work for as they came from behind and had supersub Michy Batshuyai to thank for two of the Blues three late goals. It could however been a different story had Watford landed the knockout blow when 2-1 up.
But it must be said it certainly showed that Chelsea have got a fighting spirit and are ready to pull up their sleeves when it matters, you could also make the case that they should not have got themselves into this position in the first place but then perhaps that doe Watford a disservice.
The win over Watford would certainly have been a very important one especially when you look at the current complexion of the Premier League table. Going into that game they had lost their last two and could ill afford a third straight defeat.
Had that been the case then they would have been 12 points behind on Manchester City and you would have to say that their chances of defending the title would have all but evaporated. Obviously there are three quarters of the season left to go but right now Pep Guardiola’s men look like they could be the second coming of the invincibles.
With Chelsea four points behind both Manchester United and Tottenham at present that situation will be improved should results go their way, the ideal scenario for them would be for the two clubs to take points off of each other and couple that with a win at the Vitality Stadium later this evening.
If that is to be the case then the gap is cut to two points and they all of a sudden are back in the pack of teams attempting to stay within touching distance of leaders Manchester City. Quite simply they can ill afford to give up anymore ground.
But thankfully for them I think they will manage to come away from their trip to the seaside with all three points, not good news for Bournemouth as they will be consigned to another weekend in the bottom three but good news for Chelsea. An away win for me.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) October 27, 2017