Archive for August, 2016

Chelsea vs Burnley preview

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Willian has returned to training with Chelsea ahead of their Premier League clash with Burnley on Saturday.

The midfielder had been struggling with a calf injury at the start of the season, and will have his fitness checked ahead of the Stamford Bridge meeting.

Blues boss Antonio Conte has also warned his side to be wary of the counter-punches the Clarets used so effectively in beating Liverpool last weekend.

“It’s incredible as only one year ago people were paying attention to the possession ball. But against Liverpool Burnley had 25 per cent and Liverpool had 75 per cent, and yet the result is 2-0 to Burnley!

“So for this reason I told my players to pay attention. I hope the team will push to win. This is the English league and every game is very tough.”

Burnley were the surprise package in the Premier League last Saturday with their 2-0 victory over the Reds last weekend, but crashed out to Sky Bet League Two side Accrington Stanley in the EFL Cup on Wednesday.

However, the Clarets know they can compete at Stamford Bridge, picking up a late 1-1 draw there on their last visit in a stormy encounter that saw Nemanja Matic sent off.

Team news

Chelsea centre-back Kurt Zouma remains sidelined with a knee problem while boss Antonio Conte also has another injury worry, but he would not name the player concerned.

Thibaut Courtois, John Terry, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa should return to the starting line-up after dropping out for the midweek EFL Cup win over Bristol Rovers.

Burnley are expected to be back at full strength after the midweek loss to Accrington Stanley when Sean Dyche made 10 changes to the team that drew with Liverpool.

Tom Heaton, record signing Steven Defour and Andre Gray will be among those coming back in, although Ashley Barnes (hamstring) will remain out alongside Liverpool loanee Jon Flanagan, who is not ready to play a full game so soon after completing 120 minutes on Wednesday night.

Opta stats

Chelsea are unbeaten in their four Premier League meetings with Burnley, winning three and drawing one.

Burnley have found the back of the net in all but one of their last eight clashes with the Blues in all competitions (a 3-0 top-flight defeat to Chelsea in August 2009).

Branislav Ivanovic scored in both league meetings in 2014/15, the last season the two sides met.

Chelsea have won the Premier League title in both of the previous seasons Burnley were in the division.

Burnley have conceded just one goal in their last five Premier League matches (three of which were in May 2015, the other two in August 2016).

The Blues have lost just one of their last 45 Premier League home games against newly-promoted opposition, but this came last season versus Bournemouth (0-1).

Diego Costa has scored seven goals in nine Premier League appearances for Chelsea in the month of August.

Burnley have picked up just two points from 11 previous visits to London in the Premier League (W0 D2 L9), scoring six times and conceding 28 goals.

Antonio Conte is currently unbeaten in 29 successive league home matches as a club manager (W27 D2 L0), last suffering a home defeat in January 2013 (Juventus 1-2 Sampdoria).

George Boyd has run the furthest (24.9km) and made the most sprints (166) in the Premier League so far this


NaijaBet Odds

As at this post Chelsea has 1.19 odd to win the match on NaijaBet while Burnley  has 14.33 odd to win the match also, while the odd to draw the match is 6.21


Match Preview : Watford vs Arsenal

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Watford fell to a 2-1 home loss to Chelsea last weekend and followed that up with an extra time defeat to Gillingham in the EFL Cup on Tuesday. The players are still adhereing to Mazzarri’s demands and play Arsenal at perhaps the wrong time.

While the Gunners have failed to win so far this season, they looked in far better shape against Leicester last weekend, holding the defending champions to a 0-0 draw. With Ozil and Giroud now fully fit and available, the duo should make a huge difference in the final third.

Watford’s poor start to the campaign, therefore, could continue with a home defeat this weekend.

Watford : Brice Dja Djedje is sidelined with a foot problem for Watford, while Isaac Success is a doubt for the Hornets ahead of Saturday’s welcome of Arsenal.

New signings Younes Kaboul and Roberto Pereyra are at Walter Mazzarri’s disposal, though may be eased into competitive action slowly following their arrivals.

Ben Watson is available having served his one-match ban.

Arsenal : Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil could both make their first league starts of the season having come off the bench against Leicester last weekend, with Theo Walcott and Francis Coquelin dropping to the bench.