Chelsea’s fine form continued against Crystal Palace; the Blues ran out 1-0 winners for the second consecutive game. The result ‘earned’ under-pressure Palace boss Alan Pardew the sack, and the win took Chelsea’s winning run to 12 games.
They will certainly fancy their chances at home against Bournemouth but will be wary of their opposition, who stunned them in the same fixture last year when the Cherries claimed all three points.
Here’s a potential lineup Antonio Conte could go with.
Thibaut Courtois will be sure to start at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte won’t want to tinker with the formation that has brought his side so much success over the last couple of months. David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta have been absolutely solid at the back for the Blues.
Sky pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher both recently chose Luiz and Azpilicueta for their teams of the season so far – a true testament to their defensive contributions this term.
Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso have been key components of Conte’s 3-4-3 system, putting in tireless displays up and down the flanks. It will be their job once again on Boxing Day to drop back into a five-man defence when the opposition have the ball, and offer outlets when in possession.
They will offer support to central midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic, who are expected to start together in the absence of N’Golo Kante. The French star misses out through suspension, and his legs will no doubt be missed by the Blues.
Chelsea’s three-pronged attack could see Michy Batshuayi finally get his chance after Diego Costa picked up one too many yellow cards.
The Belgium striker would be making his first Premier League start since his summer arrival. He could be supported by Willian, who started ahead of Pedro against Palace. Support from the left will come from mainstay talisman Eden Hazard, who will most likely roam free in the final third as he has done so effectively this season.