AFC Bournemouth and visitors Chelsea meet on Saturday for only the fifth time in the Premier League. This fixture has always provided the goals, with none of the four fixtures not ending in a stalemate.
Confidence is high for both sides and they will have hoped to have turned a corner following back-to-back victories.
Key players will unlock the glory for either side in this game and here are a few key battles which could decide the outcome of this game.
3. Junior Stanislas vs Marcos Alonso
After an inspired performance against Stoke City last weekend, Junior Stanislas is set to retain his role on the right-hand side on Saturday.
He’ll face up against Marcos Alonso and it won’t be an easy game for either of the pair.
The attacker will be one of the home side’s biggest threats with the only real pace coming out wide from Stanislas and Jordan Ibe. After scoring his first goal of the season last weekend, the Englishman will be hungry for more.
Marcos Alonso has been one of the standout performers, when missing, it really tells. However, the Blues have been shaky at the back and with an average of conceding just over a goal a game, the chances that Stanislas has, he will have to take with the Cherries defensive record even worse than the away side.
2. Eden Hazard vs Adam Smith
Still without a goal to his name in the Premier League this season, Eden Hazard will be looking to the same like he did a few years ago at the Vitality by scoring his first goal of the season at the weekend.
He is Chelsea’s most dangerous threat and with playing more than double of the games of his opponent Adam Smith, it’s going to be a rather tiresome day for the full-back.
The Belgian can pull a chance out of nothing on his day and with the Bournemouth defence as it is already, conceding 13 goals, Hazard will be quietly confident to stick a few past former team-mate Asmir Begovic.
1. Cesc Fabregas vs Andrew Surman
When the pair faced up two seasons ago, the Spaniard certainly came out on top with providing a hat-trick of assists in the 3-1 win.
Both will be instrumental in securing the ball to offload to the forwards but with Bournemouth potentially having a man extra in the midfield, Fabregas is going to have to raise his energy levels in trying to contain the man advantage for the home side.
The home side on average concede 1.44 goals a game and with the 69 passes on average that Fabregas makes per game, the Blues are certain to get a few opportunities. But eluding to the extra man, they can nullify that and make it a rather tough evening for Fabregas.