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First team

Media view: Chelsea


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth make the trip to Chelsea on Saturday, hoping to build on their recent good record at Stamford Bridge.

But what can we expect from the Blues this season with a new manager and system in place?

We asked ESPN's Chelsea correspondent, Liam Twomey, to give us the lowdown on Maurizio Sarri's side - what we will see and what we can exploit. 

You can follow Liam on Twitter here

afcb.co.uk: Firstly, what has the new manager Maurizio Sarri added to Chelsea? 

LT: Well, they are a completely different team to what Bournemouth faced last year.

Jorginho is the only constant starter really, as a result their style has completely changed. It's all about fast possession and Jorginho sitting at the base of midfield sets the tone.

When they don’t have the ball, they press teams very high and Jorginho is the one shouting out to where his team mates should be and ‘controlling the distances’ as Sarri says. They’re all about pressing and passing at speed now. 

afcb.co.uk: They've got maximum points, but how have they fared in those opening three games? 

LT: Ask anyone at Chelsea and they’ll say results are better than performances. They’re ahead of schedule in getting maximum points.

They’ve been given a lot of freedom, N’Golo Kante has looked like a centre forward at times and they do commit bodies forwards, particularly with Marcos Alonso driving forward too.

They’ve looked shaky, but they do look good going forward – the front three has a lot more freedom and Eden Hazard coming back is big for them.

It’s an interesting one, they’re an exciting team partly because they're vulnerable. 

afcb.co.uk: You say they're vulnerable, is that because they now play with a back four? 

LT: For 15 minutes against Arsenal they did look shaky, and they also had moments against Newcastle considering how well documented it was how Newcastle attacked that game.

They’re still adjusting to playing a back four, Marcos Alonso is going forward but is having to play as a defensive full-back at times as a result and David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger are still developing their central partnership.

Bournemouth have had a very good start and in Callum Wilson and Joshua King, they have two very smart and mobile players who can drift wide and ask different questions to what Newcastle and Huddersfield posed them.

You could see against Arsenal that if a team actually attacks and beats the first press – Bournemouth are a good passing team so they will have moments to do that – then they can get at the Chelsea defence.

It should be an exciting game! 

afcb.co.uk: Just finally Liam, what's the mood amongst the fanbase at the moment? 

LT: I think it’s one of excitement and intrigue at the football Sarri has brought in.

The manager has promised to bring fun, whereas Conte promised hard work so there’s a different tone.

There’s been signs of an exciting style developing, but fans also have reservations about the defence.

The ride won’t be dull this season! 

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