Chelsea vs Bournemouth preview, betting tips and prediction: Blues to progress despite changes

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Chelsea to win 2-0 at 6/1 with Paddy Power

Willian to score anytime and Chelsea to win at 21/10 with Paddy Power

Chelsea to win with a -2 handicap at 15/8 with Paddy Power

With Chelsea’s Premier League crown slipping away from them week to week, despite the Blues enjoying good form, Antonio Conte may have to look elsewhere if he is to bring silverware in his second season at Stamford Bridge. The Carabao Cup is a good opportunity to do that as the first to be decided, in February, and can set the tone for a good second half to the season. The Blues los to West Ham recently but they bounced back with two wins in a week; it remains their only defeat in nine matches.

Bournemouth are the opposition for this quarter final and it has been quite a mixed season for Eddie Howe. After a summer of heavy spending, the Cherries started terribly but then picked up a few wins. While three points have been tough to come by in recent weeks, they have drawn a lot of games; that has seen them slip down the Premier League table. Having bigger concerns and Chelsea’s extra squad depth could end a decent cup run for Howe’s side. Willian, in particular, is in form and could prove the difference.

Form

Chelsea came unstuck against West Ham recently, but bounced back with two victories over Huddersfield and Southampton. Conte’s side have not done much wrong but still find themselves way behind league leaders Manchester City; Pep Guardiola’s side have won 16 straight Premier League games and that means any Blues slip up has been punished. Having been in and out of the side lately, Brazilian playmaker Willian scored once and set up two against Huddersfield, and his form could be crucial to victory here.

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As for Bournemouth, over the last six games, excluding the game with Liverpool on Sunday, they have only one once. Four consecutive draws were ended by a narrow defeat at Manchester United. Although they battled hard, the superior quality of the Red Devils was too much and that could be a similar story to this one. But Bournemouth do have strikers in form, with Jermain Defoe netting twice against Crystal Palace and Callum Wilson netting a hattrick in their last win over Huddersfield. With the pace up front that they have, the Cherries are always likely to be a threat.

Team News

With such a busy period of games coming up, it is hard to know how either side will line up. Chelsea, particularly, will likely exercise their squad in this one by giving the likes of Michy Batshuayi, Danny Drinkwater and others chances from the start. It may be unlikely either Alvaro Morata, who has been struggling with injury and fatigue lately, or Eden Hazard. David Luiz is still injured and will not play, meaning Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen could link up at centre back once again. But Conte has options at his disposal.

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