They might only be separated by three Premier League points, but the moods around Bournemouth and Chelsea couldn’t be further apart at the moment. The Cherries have been magnificent in their debut Premier League season and, despite losing three of their last four, they have far surpassed even their wildest dreams for this season.
Guus Hiddink managed to steer Chelsea away from the threat of relegation, but the Dutchman has failed to take the champions beyond a mid-table finish and the remainder of the season must be about developing some of their exceptionally gifted youngsters. Baba Rahman, Kenedy, Bertrand Traore and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all featured regularly under the experienced Dutchman and we can expect to see several of them today.
Chelsea have won just one of their last five league matches and their dire performance at home to Manchester City last time out reflected the vastly disappointing season the Blues have had.
This game may not have anything riding on it, but it would be hugely significant if Eddie Howe’s side managed to do the double over the champions.
So, let’s get on with it… here are the XIs:
— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) April 23, 2016
Team to face Bournemouth: Begovic; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic (c), Mikel, Baba; Matic, Fabregas; Pedro, Willian, Hazard; Diego Costa. #CFC
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 23, 2016