FOOTBALL JOURNALIST Adam Goodwin (@AGJournalism) previews Wednesday night's EFL Cup showdown between Chelsea and Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea v Bournemouth | Wednesday 19th December 2018, 19:45
After beating Brighton on Sunday, Chelsea will now turn their attention to the League Cup, where Maurizio Sarri will be targeting his first trophy in England. They’re unbeaten in their last 17 home games and haven’t conceded in their last four at Stamford Bridge.
Both of Chelsea’s games in this competition so far this season have been highly entertaining and have seen a combined eight goals in games against Liverpool and Derby. Sarri did rotate his starting XI for both of those games, but the team still contained the likes of Willian, Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata.
During his time at Napoli, Sarri failed to reach the Coppa Italia final in any of his three seasons at the club and has never won a domestic trophy during his 28 years in management. This is unlikely to have an impact on whether they’ll win this game, but perhaps it’ll affect their progress later in the competition.
Bournemouth were up to as high as sixth after smashing Fulham 3-0 at the end of October, but since then, have one just once in seven league games. They’ve conceded 10 goals in their last four games, and all their hard work at the start of the season seems to be unravelling.
Eddie Howe has tended to rest his key players in this competition so far this season, with 38-year-old Artur Boruc starting all three games. They have a far smaller squad than Chelsea, so this game depends on whether Howe decides to rest his players or play his strongest team – I expect the latter.
Since 2013, Bournemouth have only lost five of their last 19 games in this competition and it’s clearly a competition that Eddie Howe favours. But in those games, they’ve failed to beat any of the Premier League big boys and three of those five losses came against Liverpool and Chelsea.
The betting angle
I certainly think Bournemouth will put up a good fight here, but if they continue to play Boruc in goal, I can see Chelsea grabbing at least a couple on Wednesday night.
There were a few angles I was thinking of taking, but I think I’m going to plump for Chelsea to win and Both Teams To Score at 2/1 with Betway.
I know they haven’t conceded in their last four games at home but with a rotated back four and Willy Caballero in goal, I think Bournemouth should be able to get at least one at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea v Bournemouth – Chelsea to win and Both Teams To Score (2/1 Betway)