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PREVIEW: Chelsea v Burnley

Tale of the tape as the Clarets go the Bridge in bid to secure top-flight safety

22 April 2019

The Clarets head to Stamford Bridge on Monday evening knowing a point will all but guarantee Premier League safety and three would make it mathematically certain.

The results over the Easter weekend left Sean Dyche’s men in 15th place in the table, still clear of Southampton, Brighton and Cardiff City – who managed just a point between them

Cardiff – in the final relegation slot - remain eight points adrift of the Clarets with three games left to play.

And with a goal difference 17 inferior to the Clarets, it would take a dramatic swing to take them above Burnley over the final three games if Dyche’s side can take some reward at Chelsea.

In reality, the Clarets may have done enough already thanks to a remarkable run since Boxing Day night when they were three points adrift in the bottom three.

But Dyche will demand no letting up, as he looks to get the job done at the start of a tough-run which comprises games against Manchester City, Everton and Arsenal following the trip to fifth-place Chelsea, who know a win will take them into the top three.

“We want the focus we have shown since Christmas to be maintained because there has been a very strong focus in looking after ourselves with performances, with individual detail and with team performances,” said the Burnley boss.

“That’s rewarded us, and we want to stay on that mindset.

“We took a point at Old Trafford and beat Tottenham at home – two very high-level performance teams.

“We have to take on the next games with that in mind, and also not be naïve enough to think it’s easy, because the big clubs, the big players and the big teams are there for a reason.”

Team news

The Clarets are giving a late check to defender Phil Bardsley after the full-back had stitches removed from a gashed leg.

Striker Peter Crouch isn’t yet ready to return and wingman Aaron Lennon is not in contention.

Chelsea expect to have play-maker Eden Hazard fit but defender Antonio Rudiger is set to miss out again with a knee injury.

Form guide

The Clarets go to Stamford Bridge on the back of three successive wins, which have put them on the brink of Premier League safety.

Those three victories have contributed to a haul of 27 points in 15 games from the half-way point of the season.

No side outside the top four can match that total – including Chelsea, who have accrued 26.

The Blues – who won 4-0 at Turf Moor at the end of October – are on a decent run, however, as they chase a top-four finish and a place in the final of the Europa League after reaching the last four by completing a semi-final win over Slavia Prague last Thursday night.

Maurizio Sarri’s side has lost just two of their last 14 games in all competitions – both on Merseyside thanks to Premier League losses at Everton and Liverpool.

Their last home defeat in the league came against Leicester City three days before Christmas.

Opposition camp

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri: “For the physical characteristics, the Slavia Prague match was really very expensive for us.

“Burnley is a physical team with physical impact, but the characteristics are different I think.

“We have to try in the Premier League to get in the top four. It’s not easy for us because we have to play only four matches, but we have to try.

“I think in the last four, five matches it will be very difficult for every team involved in the fight for the top four, not only for us.

“I think we can see some very strange results in the last part of the season, we have only to fight and see at the end.”

Match stats

Defender James Tarkowski is in line to make his 100th appearance for the Clarets.

The Clarets’ tally of 42 goals has matched the highest they have ever managed in a Premier League season.

Burnley’s only Premier League win over Chelsea came at Stamford Bridge last season.

If the Clarets score, it will be the 1000th goal conceded by Chelsea in the Premier League.

Eden Hazard’s 16 league goals so far have matched the Belgian’s highest tally for a Premier League season.

Referee

Kevin Friend

Kick-off

Monday, 8pm


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