Burnley v Chelsea
Live on BT Sport Box Office
Burnley still can’t get going
At some point, Burnley will get going. Won’t they?
Jose Mourinho was in no doubt ahead of their Monday night meeting, predicting that they would already be safe by March or April.
“They will be already eight, nine or 10 (points clear), comfortable in the table,” said the Spurs boss, rubbing his crystal ball.
“This is Burnley, so the fact they only have one point in this moment – they have played one match less and the fact they have one point doesn’t tell me much.”
Well, Burnley still have only one point after Spurs won 1-0. And the goal count is stuck on just three. Two of those came in the opening 4-2 defeat at Leicester so they’ve managed just one in the last four.
Instinct says Burnley will turn the tide soon. But, just when their luck is down, they face a Chelsea side suddenly able to keep clean sheets.
Chelsea the new clean sheet kings
Yep, Frank Lampard decided that after conceding three goals against both West Brom and Southampton and having to settle for a pair of 3-3 draws, enough was enough.
He was cautious in a 0-0 stalemate with Sevilla and then went full old-school Mourinho in a goalless bore draw at Old Trafford.
But he finally got the balance better against Krasnodar on Wednesday night as Chelsea did the groundwork before kicking on with three late goals to claim at 4-0 win.
Now, he’ll hope he can get the blend right in a Premier League setting.
In fairness, Burnley’s lack of goals make them a good candidate to inflict a fourth clean sheet on.
But having managed only nine points in their opening six games to sit 10th, the Blues won’t be coming just to try and nick a win. They’ll want to make sure.
Despite appearing to hold the aces, Chelsea look short in the market at just 4/71.57.
That means there could be a spot of value in Burnley at 11/26.4 or The Draw at 7/24.7.
History is against the hosts though.
The last 12 meetings show eight wins for Chelsea and three draws. And at Turf Moor, the last half-dozen head-to-heads have produced five away wins and just a single success for Burnley.
Not just that, Chelsea have made hay. Two seasons ago they cruised to a 4-0 victory while last October a Christian Pulisic hat-trick put them 4-0 up again before the hosts slotted in two consolation goals in the final four minutes.
The Goal markets are interesting here. Over 2.5 Goals is the clear favourite at 5/71.71 while Unders is 5/42.28.
Those prices are based on familiar Chelsea. But what if we get the new ‘clean-sheet Chelsea’? In that case Unders looks of interest.
Again, Chelsea’s improved defensive solidity and Burnley’s lack of goals makes ‘No’ look more of an attractive option in Both teams to Score. That’s priced at 11/102.12.
Staying on that theme and the Chelsea Win to Nil option at 8/52.6 looks a live runner based on recent evidence.
Those taking a more long-term view may point out that Chelsea have only ever kept two away clean sheets in the Premier League under Lampard’s reign.
But to counter the counter punch… Chelsea now have a decent goalkeeper (see Opta Stat below) so shutouts should come more often.
And to throw in one final statistical jab, which team have conceded fewest home goals this season? Yep, Burnley.
True, they’ve only played twice, losing 1-0 on both occasions, but keeping a rampant Spurs attack to a single goal was a fair effort.
All in all, there’s enough evidence to suggest goals could be in short supply with Chelsea much tighter and Burnley at least stubborn in nothing else.
Timo Werner took a while to get his shooting boots on but he’s now starting to rack up the goals in a blue shirt.
The German has four in his last six matches for Chelsea and also scored for his country during that spell.
Another strike could really be a difference maker on Saturday and a Werner goal in a 1-0 Chelsea win pays just over 25/1 in the Same Game Multi market.
Edouard Mendy is looking to become the first Chelsea keeper to keep a clean sheet in each of his first three Premier League appearances for the Blues since Petr Cech in August 2004.