AFC Bournemouth host a Chelsea side this Saturday with both sides coming into this fixture after winning two games on the bounce in the past week.
The home side recorded their second win of the season last weekend away to Stoke but still remain in the bottom three. Whereas opponents Chelsea are sitting inside the top four after coming back from 2-1 down against a wasteful Watford to clinch a 4-2 victory.
Howe and Conte enjoyed cup success during the week with their team after home wins against Middlesbrough and Everton respectively.
The pair have been drawn to face on another at Stamford Bridge in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup after the draw was made on Thursday afternoon, despite the delay caused by technical difficulties.
When the teams met towards the end of the 2015/16 season, it had been a dismal one which Chelsea wanted to end rather sharpish.
The Blues were stuck in ninth against a Cherries side four league places below them. Then, fan favourite Jose Mourinho departed the Bridge after a 2-1 defeat away to Leicester in the Christmas run in which toppled over all of the problems which the Blues had in the early parts of that season. Guus Hiddink was put in interim charge and the Blues looked to finish the season strongly.
Chelsea took the lead five minutes into the game through Spaniard Pedro. A lovely through ball from national team-mate Fabregas put Pedro one-on-one and he cooly put it past Artur Boruc.
Fabregas was at it again with assisting his team-mates and this time it was for Belgian Eden Hazard. The playmaker flicked it back for Hazard who curled it into the bottom corner to double the visitors lead.
Begovic was in goal for the Blues that day but failed to keep on Tommy Elphick’s header which put the Cherries right back in contention to get something out of the game.
A third assist for Fabregas with 20 minutes to go sent the Blues 3-1 up through Willian and then Hazard who scored his first of the season earlier on in the game, doubled his tally scoring in injury time.
Eddie Howe has a couple of selection issues. Jermain Defoe being the first of them. He is a major doubt for the Cherries this weekend with a hamstring problem.
Joshua King is another doubt for Eddie Howe, as he is suffering with illness so will face late a check regarding his availability.
The visitors have nearly the whole squad to select from again. The only absentees are N’Golo Kante, who is now back in training after suffering a hamstring injury whilst on international break last month, and Victor Moses.
Danny Drinkwater is ready to be available for selection after he played his first minutes, something he was finally glad to do after a long awaited debut.
Predicted AFC Bournemouth XI: Begovic; Smith, Ake, Francis, Daniels; Stanislas, Arter, Cook, Surman, Ibe; Afobe.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill; Zappacosta, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Hazard, Morata..
It’s been fantastic week for both clubs on the pitch by getting back to winning ways. Both sides will come into this full of confidence and should be right up for it.
Recent fixtures between AFC Bournemouth and Chelsea have been rather entertaining and have had a fair few goals in each of the games.
The sides have met four times in the past 20 years and the Cherries have only come out on top after their infamous 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
With Chelsea getting back to scoring goals freely, despite struggling in recent weeks, quality should tell for Conte’s side and in the end, it will prove to be the downfall to Howe and his team especially with the problem of being unable to score goals.
Prediction: AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Chelsea