On Saturday, Chelsea will travel to Goldsands Stadium to take on Bournemouth, in what is set up to be a completely irrelevant match. Literally the match has no implications for either team.
Chelsea won’t be able to punch high enough for a Champions League or Europa League place, unless something quite unusual happens. Similarly, Bournemouth cannot realistically be relegated from 13th place, making the match a formality for them as well. Don’t forget to check out the latest betting odds for the various competitions at your favourite betting company. It may also help to use this site, sports-promo-code.com, where you can find some promo codes to help you find a respectable betting partner.
That being said, it may represent an opportunity for Chelsea to continue to try out their youngsters. While I would like to see Jake Clarke-Salter get a start, the Englishman will most likely be involved with the U-18 side against Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup Final first leg. Therefore, Matt Miazga should really earn another start and another chance to prove himself to the fans and incoming manager Antonio Conte.
In the midfield, Loftus Cheek should continue his run in the side. This could be a big match for him. It represents the opportunity to really take control of the game and prove to Conte why he should be heavily involved with the side next season.
Kenedy will likely also get time, along with perhaps youngster Kasey Palmer. The young Englishman was a large part of Chelsea’s U-19 UEFA Youth League Final winning performance. He has absolutely earned a chance to prove his worth at the highest level. Charlie Colkett could also be included in the squad.
Bournemouth enters the game with Joshua King being their top scorer and Matt Ritchie leading the team in assists. Coach Eddie Howe will want his side to be up to their best, despite the perceived lack of motivation.
The Cherries will enter the match following their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool, with Joshua King grabbing a late goal to put Bournemouth on the board. Similarly, Chelsea enter the match having lost 3-0 to Manchester City in a complete destruction at Stamford Bridge. The Sky Blues were far and away the better team and it showed last Saturday.
Chelsea will look to put that result behind them and build on their mission to incorporate youth players in the side. The hope would be that they are not just in the side, but beginning to contribute.
Look for Chelsea’s youngsters to play with an inspired edge that the more senior players simply won’t have due to what’s left to play for. Perhaps the youth will continue to set the precedent in West London as they have this week with their second UEFA Youth League victory in two years. The kids are showing what the future could hold at Stamford Bridge. Perhaps, they’ll give a demonstration on the road at Goldsands Stadium.
Predicted Lineup: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Miazga, Rahman, Loftus Cheek, Fabregas, Pedro, Willian, Kenedy, Diego Costa
Predicted Score: Chelsea 2, Bournemouth 1
Predicted Scorers: Diego Costa, Ruben Loftus Cheek, Joshua King