AFC Bournemouth take on table toppers Chelsea on Boxing day. Will we repeat last year’s brilliant 1-0 victory and continue our win one, lose one form. Or, will they continue their hot streak without Costa and Kante. We talk to Chelsea fan site TalkChelsea to get the lowdown on what they think of us and what they think the score will be. A big thanks to Mark Sadler at Talk Chelsea for his answers.
Q. Eddie Howe was briefly touted as possible replacement for Mourinho. What do Chelsea fans think of Eddie Howe?
I like him and I think he has earned the respect of all the managers and supporters across the country. The style he has introduced is very good to watch, the Bournemouth team seem to be buying into his ways very well hence the solid state of the club.
Q. Chelsea has an expensively assembled squad. Which AFC Bournemouth player do you think could get in the Chelsea XI or who would you like to see at Chelsea?
Difficult one with the quality in our side but I’m a fan of hard workers and roll your sleeves up type of players and I like watching Harry Arter a real 100%’er and never shirks a challenge and gives his all.
Q. Chelsea loanee Nathan Ake recently broke into the AFC Bournemouth first team and has been undroppable. If he came back to Chelsea would he get in the matchday squad?
Again, very tough for the lad with the sheer quality in our side. I think it’s more likely now we have Conte in charge as he isn’t afraid of taking a chance on a player and allowing them to flourish, just see Victor Moses. In our financial plight it’s easy to just to go and buy when a player is needed, but I think Nathan can go on and be a super player, but I’m not sure if it can be at Chelsea.
Q. We would love Nathan Ake at AFC Bournemouth. Do you think Chelsea would sell him?
This conveyor belt of loan players we have I can see him staying on loan for another 2 seasons and following that be sold. Like I said above, if we need someone we will buy rather than introduce and that’s just the way most top teams are now because they are financially stacked. I think he will be sold but I do not know when.
Q. As an outsider where do you think AFC Bournemouth will finish the 2016/17 season?
About the same position as you are now really. I think Bournemouth are a very steady and solid outfit, and mid-table would be a great effort for them. There are a lot of poor sides in the league such as Hull, Boro and Sunderland and I think Bournemouth are quite some way away from those sides.
Q. Who do you think will be the key men for both sides on Sunday?
Eden Hazard. He’s ramped up his game again after a poor last season and he is flourishing under Conte and seems to have the shackles off and is playing great again.
Q. Last season at Stafford Bridge the Cherries beat you 1-0. A repeat seems unlikely, but what do you think the score will be?
2-0 Chelsea. It won’t be a rout because Bournemouth set up solid and play some very good football and are a very patient side. We need to be patient too but I think we will have a little too much for the Cherries.