Burnley have enjoyed an excellent campaign so far, they are currently 7th on the league table and on a five Premier League matches winning streak. Sean Dyche’s men are just two points behind the Gunners and are closing down on Arsenal in 6th place.
Chelsea surprisingly lost 3-2 to Burnley at Stamford Bridge in August, The game which saw both Blues Captain Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas sent-off laid the foundation for what has been a disappointing season for the Blues thus far.
Burnley is in pole position to claim a Europa League spot after they dispatched fellow Europa League hopeful Leicester 2-1 at home on Saturday to consolidated their 7th position on the league table.
If Burnley finish 7th and Southampton does not win the FA Cup then the 7th placed team will be playing European football next season.
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Playing in Europe next season will be a remarkable achievement for a club like Burnley that just gained promotion back into the Premier League in the 2015/16 season and with a very tight budget that greatly hinders the club’s ability to buy top talents, the coach Sean Dyche deserves some accolades on how the team has played this season.
Chelsea’s lacklustre season almost reared his ugly head at St. Mary’s, they had to dig deep to defeat Southampton 3-2, thanks to a brace from French man Olivier Giroud who continued his remarkable scoring feat from the bench to inspire Chelsea to victory.
Tottenham Hotspurs dropped points against Brighton on Tuesday night, so Chelsea will be hoping to get all three points against Burnley on Thursday night to exert some serious pressure on Spurs for the 4th position.
Burnley goes into the match on Thursday with a number of injury concerns to contend with. The host will be without Ben Mee (shin), Jonathan Walters (fitness), Scott Arfield (calf), Steven Defour and Robbie Brady (both knee) will all be unavailable, while Clarets boss Sean Dyche is sweating over the fitness of Georges-Kevin N’Koudou.
The Blues manager Antonio Conte may decide to reshuffle his team and rest some key players ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Southampton at Wembley.
Ross Barkley, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Victor Moses are all vying for possible recall into the starting XI, while striker Olivier Giroud could be preferred in attack ahead of Alvaro Morata after his heroics against Southampton at St Mary’s at the weekend.
Danny Drinkwater (calf), David Luiz (ankle) and Ethan Ampadu (broken ankle) remain sidelined, Emerson could start at left-back after Marcos Alonso was retrospectively banned by the FA for a stamp on Southampton’s Shane Long last weekend.
Possible Line-up For Burnley
Nick Pope, Stephen Ward, James Tarkowski, Kelvin Long, Mathew Lowton, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood.
Possible Line-up For Chelsea
Thibaut Courtois, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, Emerson, Victor Moses, Cesc Fabregas, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Pedro Rodriguez, Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud.
The match is scheduled to kick-off at 7.45pm on Thursday 19th April 2018.