Bournemouth and Chelsea have both endured difficult starts to the season. Can either side turn things around at the Vitality Stadium? We look ahead to Sunday’s Premier League match with our Bournemouth vs Chelsea prediction and preview.
Bournemouth vs Chelsea: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer is positive about Chelsea’s hopes of claiming their second win of the Premier League campaign on Sunday, giving them a 47.9% chance of beating Bournemouth.
- Bournemouth have only won more Premier League games against Leicester City and Everton (both five) than they have against Chelsea (four).
- Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino is winless in his last 13 away Premier League games, a run stretching back to his time at Tottenham in February 2019.
If Chelsea fans expected an immediate upturn under Mauricio Pochettino, they have been sorely disappointed. An underwhelming return of four points from four Premier League games means the Blues are already under pressure ahead of Sunday’s trip to Bournemouth.
Chelsea’s woes deepened prior to the international break as Nottingham Forest claimed a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge, leaving them 12th in the table. Chelsea have now won only two of their last 16 Premier League matches, losing nine times during that run and earning just 11 points since 18 March – the fewest of any non-promoted or non-relegated side in that time.
This is Chelsea’s worst start to a Premier League season since 2015-16, when they also had four points at this stage under José Mourinho and went on to finish 10th. Todd Boehly sacked Thomas Tuchel after he led them to 10 points from their first six outings of 2022-23, and Pochettino now needs back-to-back wins just to match that return.
On the road, Pochettino is looking to end a miserable run predating his time at Chelsea. He is winless in 13 away Premier League games, a run stretching back to February 2019 and his time at Tottenham. He has led Spurs to a UEFA Champions League final and spent 18 months at Paris Saint-Germain since he last won an away game in the English top flight.
Though Raheem Sterling has started the season in decent form, Chelsea need their other forwards to step up. Nicolas Jackson has worked hard, making more off-ball runs (173) than any other Premier League player this campaign, but the striker has only converted one of his seven big chances.
While Christopher Nkunku, Roméo Lavia and Carney Chukwuemeka are sidelined, Chelsea are hoping for positive news on the injury front before kick-off. Reece James is close to returning from a hamstring injury, while Mykhailo Mudryk should be available despite suffering an injury scare while with Ukraine.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, are one of five Premier League teams without a win this season, though they were agonisingly close to picking up three points last time out.
Bryan Mbeumo’s last-gasp equaliser denied Bournemouth in an entertaining 2-2 draw with Brentford, after David Brooks’ first Premier League goal since July 2020 had put the Cherries on the cusp of their first league victory under Andoni Iraola.
There are signs Iraola is implementing his ideas, however. Bournemouth have attempted nine shots following high turnovers in the Premier League this term, a tally only bettered by Brighton (13), after Iraola’s Rayo Vallecano led La Liga for the same metric last season (68).
If Bournemouth are to climb the table, former Chelsea striker Dominic Solanke will be pivotal. His 16 Premier League goal involvements (eight goals, eight assists) since the start of last season are six more than any teammate, and he was rewarded with a new four-year contract this week.
Justin Kluivert, Philip Billing and Antoine Semenyo will likely support Solanke in Sunday’s lineup, with new signings Alex Scott and Tyler Adams still unavailable after arriving with injuries.
Bournemouth vs Chelsea Head-to-Head
Bournemouth have been something of a bogey team for Chelsea lately, though that was not the case last season as the Blues did the double over them. Chelsea had only won one of their previous five Premier League games against Bournemouth, losing three.
Indeed, Bournemouth have only won more Premier League games against Leicester City and Everton (five) than they have against Chelsea (four), with three of those victories came at Stamford Bridge.
The teams last met at the Vitality Stadium in May, when goals from Conor Gallagher, Benoît Badiashile and João Félix handed Frank Lampard the only win of his second stint as Chelsea boss (3-1).
Graham Potter was at the helm when Chelsea overcame Bournemouth 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last December, with since-departed duo Kai Havertz and Mason Mount on target.
In a run starting with May’s defeat to Chelsea, Bournemouth are winless in eight league games (two draws, six defeats).
That represents their worst stretch since they went nine without victory between February and July 2020, with that season ending in relegation to the Championship under Eddie Howe.
With two draws and two defeats, Bournemouth have made their second worst start to a Premier League season, only faring worse when they lost their first four in 2017-18, though they went on to finish that campaign in 12th.
Chelsea have won just two of their last 15 Premier League away games (four draws, nine defeats), losing five of their most recent six in a run dating back to March.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Bournemouth vs Chelsea Prediction
Despite Chelsea’s struggles, the Opta supercomputer makes them favourites for Sunday’s game, giving them a 47.9% chance of leaving the south coast with three points.
However, that does mean Bournemouth are assigned over a 50% probability of getting at least a point. The likelihood of a home win is rated at 24%, with the chance of a draw at 28.1%.
Overall, the supercomputer is pessimistic about Chelsea’s chances this campaign, with 12th their most common finishing position (16%) across 10,000 season simulations conducted ahead of kick-off.
Bournemouth are thought to be in trouble following their winless start, with 40.6% of scenarios seeing the Cherries relegated to the Championship.