The statistical facts heading into our midweek game against Sean Dyche’s giant-killing Burnley is that Chelsea have failed to win them in our two league matches. Factor in our opening day defeat against them where they raced onto a 3-0 halftime lead and obviously we will know Burnley are no walkovers. They have proved to be stubborn opponents against Chelsea and even other big teams in the league. Winning valuable points against teams in the top six is no fluke to their current position of being 7th in the league. Surely, our game against them will be no walk in the park.
Here are 3 things to watch out for in this game:
WILL CHELSEA PASS THE TURF MOOR TEST?
It’s huge credit to Sean Dyche and his coaching staff for the excellent job they’ve done at Burnley with modest resources. Coaching a team with a salary total of just £69m annually and that can barely feed off scraps in the transfer market is good management. Another feather to his cap is the fact that he has improved Burnley from being relegation contender to a mid-table team which is partly down to their home form. Turf Moor has become a fortress and a daunting away ground where points are hardly guaranteed without a fight. Chelsea must beware and be prepared to face the ferocity and volatility of the Burnley faithful. Keep your eyes on this!
WHICH STYLES & TACTICS WILL WIN?
It won’t be odd for me to say that Burnley’s Sean Dyche and Chelsea Antonio Conte are football managers cut from the same cloth. Both love their teams to play direct with a reference point (big & physical striker), strong physically-imposing midfield to shield the defensive line, use of width through wing play balanced with good team organisation. Both are more pragmatic than artistic in approach. With all these in mind, it promises to be a thrilling and physical encounter that will be down to which team want it more and which coach gets his tactics right. Let’s watch out!
WILL BURNLEY SHUT OUT CHELSEA?
Chelsea survived and overturned a defeat into a win against Southampton in our last league game. Potentially, such miracle might not happen at Burnley if we play the way we did against the Saints. Chelsea must come out firing on all cylinders and do well to take our chances. Burnley on the other hand, will be looking to do a double over Chelsea in a league season. Their opening day win against us at Stamford Bridge should provide them with the inspiration to do so. Will Chelsea or Burnley prevail? Let’s find out!
Let’s keep the blue flag flying high. Cheers!