Thomas Tuchel has already shown Graham Potter what he must do in Chelsea vs Bournemouth
Chelsea will look to end their awful run of form on Tuesday when they take on Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge. Blues supporters haven’t had too much to cheer about recently but the players will look to give their fans a late Christmas present with three points in west London.
Graham Potter has not seen his team win in the Premier League since October when Chelsea won at Villa Park against Aston Villa. That’s five games without three points in the top-flight and that needs to change when the Cherries arrive at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s not nice to not get results,” Potter said following the defeat to Newcastle United just before the World Cup break. “It’s as simple as that but I have to look at why that is and the situation that we’ve had to deal with. It hasn’t been straight-forward at all.
“We’ve had a lot of games, a few injuries to key players, destabilised us, today again you see they’re missing. Just had a period that’s been incredibly challenging. “You face four of the teams in the best moment in the Premier League in terms of the version of themselves and that can challenge you as well. As much as we can’t accept it, we have to deal with it and try to move forward.”
Bournemouth at home represents a perfect opportunity for Chelsea to get back to winning ways. However, the Cherries showed some promising form under now permanent manager Gary O’Neil before the international break. The newly-promoted side showed a huge improvement under O’Neil and are now sitting in 14th-place in the table.
Chelsea go into the game as massive favourites, though, and will be looking to continue their fine record against promoted teams from last season. Over the 2021/22 campaign, Chelsea won five out of their six matches against the three teams that came up from the Championship. Thomas Tuchel’s side did lose one, however, a humbling 4-1 defeat to Brentford at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel managed to guard against complacency in the other fixtures, however, with Chelsea picking up 15 points from a possible 18. Potter will be hopeful his team can carry on the fine run, with Chelsea set to play a newly-promoted side for the first time this season. Time will tell whether the six-and-a-half-week break came at a good time for Chelsea, who as mentioned, were poor leading up to the hiatus.
It could take some time for the players to gel with each other once more, but there have been consistent preparations going on behind the scenes. Chelsea took a 25-man squad out to Abu Dhabi for a warm weather training camp. The squad included those who didn’t travel to Qatar for the World Cup, and those who are continuing their rehab from injury problems. Reece James was one of those and if all goes well, the Chelsea star could make his return on Tuesday.
However, the game will come too soon for the likes of Wesley Fofana, who suffered another setback recently, N’Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell. Whether Kepa Arrizabalaga is fit enough to return remains to be seen, but we should hear more from Potter in his pre-match press conference this afternoon. Armando Broja has been ruled out for the season after picking up a serious knee injury in a mid-season friendly against Aston Villa in Abu Dhabi.
There are a lot of decisions for Potter to make between now and Tuesday regarding team selection. One thing is for certain, though, and it’s that Chelsea need to make these games against newly-promoted teams count should they want to qualify for the Champions League once again.