Mauricio Pochettino takes his side to the south coast this afternoon in need of a victory after an underwhelming start to the season. The new manager has overseen just one win in four games – which came against lowly Luton Town – and lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge in their last game before the international break.
The Blues have been hit hard by injuries but again spent record-breaking sums during the summer, so Pochettino has the tools at his disposal to improve an abysmal run of form dating back before his appointment of two wins in 16 games. Reece James is still missing through injury, joining 10 others on the sidelines, so Pochettino should make few changes.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, are still getting to grips under their own new head coach Andoni Iraola after an expensive summer of their own and remain without a win. Follow the game LIVE below with our dedicated match blog, featuring expert insight and analysis from Nizaar Kinsella at the Vitality Stadium.
The bookies agree with us.
Odds via Betfair.
The Cherries are yet to win under new management despite showing some promise themselves. Still, Chelsea surely have to win and certainly have the quality to do so.
Chelsea to win 3-1.
Chelsea team news
Chelsea‘s fitness problems have mounted ahead of today’s game, with Romeo Lavia the last addition to their extensive injury list.
The 19-year-old midfielder signed from Southampton last month but is yet to make his debut. Chelsea say he is being “assessed for an injury” after twisting his ankle over the international break.
Lavia joins Benoit Badiashile, Armando Broja, Christopher Nkunku, Reece James, Wesley Fofana, Carney Chukwuemeka, Trevoh Chalobah and Marcus Bettinelli on the sidelines. Badiashile and Broja are closing in on a recovery but won’t play at Bournemouth with a return earmarked for the match next week at home to Aston Villa.
Chelsea will likely stick to their tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation despite only earning four points from their first four games. It means Robert Sanchez will continue in goal in front of a back four featuring Malo Gusto, Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva and Levi Colwill.
Chelsea will play with their usual midfield trio of Conor Gallagher, Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo. There will also be a front three of Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Jackson and Ben Chilwell.
Bournemouth team news
Bournemouth have collected just two points from their opening four fixtures but the international break has allowed them to regroup, with several of their players returning to fitness.
Marcus Tavernier is pushing to return and Dango Ouattara could make his first appearance of the season, but summer signing Alex Scott will miss Sunday’s visit of Chelsea.
“We are slowly, slowly recovering important players for us – we are getting stronger,” Iraola added.
Andoni Iraola has praised Lloyd Kelly for how the defender has handled the fallout following his move to Tottenham collapsing on transfer deadline day.
“He has trained really well these past two weeks,” Iraola said. “They have been very good weeks for him because he came from an injury and he needed the workload.
“We were here just training with nine or 10 players so we could focus more on them. They have been really successful weeks for him.”
Where to watch
TV channel: The game will be broadcast on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Ultra HDR.
Live stream: Subscribers can watch on a live stream via the Sky Go website or app.
Hello and welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of the Premier League clash between Bournemouth and Chelsea.
Both teams are in need of a win, though you suspect the big-spending Blues have already run out of excuses after another £400million outlay over the summer.
Bournemouth have not been shy with their wallet either, though, and a scalp today for manager Andoni Iraola’s first win in charge cannot be ruled out.
Kick-off at the Vitality Stadium is at 2pm BST and we have Nizaar Kinsella there for us.