WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) previews Chelsea’s trip to fortress Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon. Burnley have an exceptional home record this season but can they keep that going against the Champions elect?
Burnley v Chelsea | Sunday 13:30 | Sky Sports 1
The wheels on the Chelsea bus keep on turning. Antonio Conte’s men are nine points clear of second place Tottenham after successfully navigating back-to-back fixtures against Liverpool and Arsenal last week, hauling in four points.
That week could have completely altered the title race but if anything it’s solidified the Blues standing at the top. The victory over Arsenal now sees the Gunners 12 points behind their London rivals and Liverpool’s woeful form has them 13 points back.
As for Burnley, it was another away defeat last weekend, this time at Vicarage Road, for the Premier League’s worst travellers. The Clarets have lost 10 out of 11 away games but they have shown improvement there, scoring in each of the last four; which has consisted of trips to Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City.
At Turf Moor, Burnley are a different beast. It’s seven consecutive wins in all competitions at home now for Sean Dyche’s men. They’ve won eight of the last 10 league games at their Lancashire base; an impressive feat for any Premier League side let alone the pre-season favourites for the drop.
However, the teams that have won there are Arsenal and Manchester City, which suggests that the Clarets are still vulnerable to the better sides. You could also argue that Liverpool could and should have won there when recording 81% of possession back in August.
Bottom Half Bruisers
Burnley have scored in 10 on the bounce at Turf Moor but I feel Chelsea could be the ones to end that run. The Clarets didn’t muster a single shot on target when making the trip to Stamford Bridge in the autumn and that was before the Blues had really honed their defensive shape.
Chelsea have won away with clean sheets at Leicester, Hull, Middlesbrough, Southampton, Sunderland and Crystal Palace this season; all teams of a similar class to the Clarets this season. Swansea are the only side in the bottom half to have scored at home against the Blues this season and they are more productive in terms of shots at goal.
Clean Sheet Win
This should be a routine win for Chelsea and it’s probably to their favour that Burnley are sitting pretty in mid-table as this is just the kind of match where a struggling team needs to raise their game to grab crucial points.
Eden Hazard picked up a calf injury against the Gunners last Sunday; he’s once again the league’s most fouled player with 67 against him this season but is expected to feature. His man of the match performance was sensational and means he’s now scored against Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City this season.
My bet for this game is Chelsea to win to nil at 6/5 with 188BET. I struggle to see Burnley creating too many problems for this supreme defence.
Burnley v Chelsea – Chelsea to ‘Win To Nil’ (6/5 188BET)