Saturday, 1 September 2018

Can Begovic keep Hazard out?

Bournemouth don't have a great record against Eden Hazard. The Chelsea star man has scored in the last five games against the Cherries. One man who will be hoping that he can help upset that record is Asmir Begovic, who is likely to make his fourth appearance of the season in Bournemouth's goal.
Begovic will try and stop Hazard and get his second
clean sheet of the season returning to Stamford Bridge.
Begovic has been beaten three times this season in the first three games with one of those goals coming from the penalty spot. Hazard could well be the chosen penalty taker for Chelsea, so part of Begovic's match preparations will surely include seeing where Hazard likes to put his spot kicks. Hazard has one goal and two assist this season, but has only played 133 minutes as he recovers from Belgium's great World Cup. Sarri seems to have to Hazard playing well and it's hard to see a bigger threat to Bournemouth and Begovic in the Chelsea team.


Whether Bournemouth decide to play as much from the back as they did against Everton at home could be a major focus of what Begovic has had to work on this week. He has an average of 21 passes per game and he has had to take responsibility for clearing his goal effectively when the opposition press on goal kicks. Chelsea are a team that pray on simple mistakes and Begovic has to be on his guard at his former club. If he can keep his second clean sheet of the season though he will be delighted to have done it at Stanford Bridge and I'm hoping his old stadium gives him extra incentive to do well.

Bournemouth will be hoping Begovic does not have to rapidly improve his shot stopping. He has only made six saves in the first three games and has seen eight successful blocks and 83 clearances in front of him already. Chelsea's have also needed their keeper to make six saves and they have a higher block rate of 17 from their three games and far fewer clearances at 51. Out of the eight goals that Chelsea have scored, two have come from the penalty spot.

Possible AFCB line up
AFCB Subs: Boruc, Mings, Francis, L Cook, Lerma, Ibe, Defoe
Eddie was cagey on saying players were carrying knocks this week and that may mean one or two of the starting 11 are unavailable which could give Rico or Lerma their first Premier League start. We do know Mousset has a twisted ankle and Marc Pugh has a hamstring strain, and there are long term injuries to Kyle Taylor and Junior Stanislas. Adam Smith is also back available from his suspension.

Chelsea press conference with Maurizio Sarri

Cherry Chimes' Newsletter - out today
Cherry Chimes' September Newsletter brings you the best stories on the blog and the thoughts behind them from last month. It's out today with special story - What should expectations be for Bournemouth fans?

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In other news, Matt Worthington is loaned to Forest Green Rovers in League Two. Bournemouth's U21 also lost 0-3 to Brentford last night.

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