EPL game of the week: Burnley vs. Chelsea
At the beginning of the season, most fans didn’t expect that a fall matchup between Burnley and Chelsea would be between two top 10 teams in the English Premier League. We’re now in late October, though, and these two teams are indeed among the league's best, which creates a matchup that could see one team shoot up the table.
Burnley will have to make the most of limited opportunitiesBurnley currently resides in eighth place in the table with a 3-3-3 record (12 points) but sits just three points out of fifth. The Clarets have shown well in wins against Southampton, Norwich City and Everton, but this is a major test to see if they’re for real or just resigned to sit in the middle of the EPL table.
Their offense so far has gone through Ashley Barnes (four goals) and Chris Wood (three goals), but they're going to have to take the game right to Chelsea. They know that they likely won’t win the possession battle, which means when they get opportunities to score, they have to pounce. If they can figure out a way to get in the gaps the Chelsea defenders naturally create, they will have a good chance to grab three points in front of the home crowd.
Chelsea has struggled without N’Golo KanteChelsea is in fourth place in the EPL with a 5-2-2 record (17 points), but a win could put it in second place with some help. The Blues have been led by Tammy Abraham (nine goals) and Mason Mount (four goals), and American Christian Pulisic is tied for the team lead in assists (four) with Callum Hudson-Odoi.
They have been struggling in the midfield without N’Golo Kante, who has been hampered with injuries so far this season, but if he is in the lineup, you have to like Chelsea’s chances to dominate possession and create some goals. If he’s not ready to play, Chelsea will need to figure out a way to create attacking opportunities.
Prediction: Chelsea wins 2-0 (+950)This Burnley squad may think it is ready to battle with the big boys, but it is still a work in progress. Chelsea will cruise with a 2-0 victory that will see Pulisic come off the bench to score his first goal (+260) and keep the blue flag flying high.