Friday, 22 April 2016

Is an AFCB double against Chelsea unthinkable?

I guess before the start of the season I have to hold my hand up as an AFCB fan and say that I would not expect the Cherries to take maximum points out of the two games against what was then Jose Mourinho's side. But a lot can happen in eight months as we have seen. Not only has Jose departed and the Cherries delighted in getting an away win at Stamford Bridge, but a Cherries' win this Saturday would put them on the same amount of points as Chelsea after 34 games and that just seems crazy or does it?
It was okay at Stamford Bridge. We'll have some more of that.
The Blues have threatened to get back into form all season but they have never had a sustained period when they have looked like the side that won the Premier League last season. Now there is a definite rebuilding project for Antonio Conte to do at the Bridge and I imagine the side that Guus Hiddink puts out at Dean Court will look very different from that which starts the 2016-17 season for them. 

The form of Chelsea is something that should not hold too much panic for the Cherries. They may have spanked Aston Villa 0-4 on the road, but defeats at Swansea and Everton in the cup suggest that Hiddink is still looking to get the best out of this Chelsea side. Okay, they have had some injuries and the centre back absence of John Terry is perhaps the biggest quandary that Hiddink has had to deal with for most of the season. But this is not a fantastic Chelsea side anymore and it is up to the Cherries to find the weaknesses.

Of late Courtois form has been called into question but his misjudgement in their last home match against Man City saw him dismissed and he will not be in goal for Chelsea. It will be Begovic between the sticks. So there may be something to exploit there.

What was pleasing about the match against Liverpool was the amount of shots AFCB did get away in the second half. It may be that Liverpool were not really playing as forcefully by then, but the shot count on Begovic has to be high if the Cherries are to win the game.

Chelsea Away Form

AFCB Home Form

Meanwhile, Harry Cornick has signed a new deal to keep him at the Cherries into 2018 and Eddie Howe has been spotted at the Madejeski Stadium of late and is believed to be looking at winger Jordan Obita, central midfielder Oliver Norwood, defender Jack Coper and even Chelsea's centre back Michael Hector who is on loan with the Royals.

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