George Pitts previews Monday Night Football in the Premier League, with two best bets to consider.
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Chelsea v Burnley
- Stamford Bridge Stadium, 2000 BST kick-off on Sky Sports Main Event
A run of three wins in four has given Chelsea fresh hope of finishing in the top four of the Premier League and they have a great chance to pile the pressure on Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal when they host Burnley in Monday Night Football.
The Blues will kick-off aware that a win would take them above Tottenham, albeit with an extra game on the board, while they will also know how other top four rivals Arsenal and Man United performed on Sunday in games against Crystal Palace and Everton respectively.
Maurizio Sarri's side bounced back from their defeat to title chasers Liverpool by seeing off Slavia Prague on Thursday to qualify for the Europa League semi-finals. After a wobble under the Italian a month or two ago, the Blues look to be back on track for the final stages of the season.
Another side back on track is Burnley. Sean Dyche's troops are eight points clear of the bottom three and all but safe, but their status in the top flight looked severely under threat at one stage. They started the season poorly after failing to cope with the demands of European football in between domestic action. Seven wins and three draws since the turn of the year, including a Turf Moor triumph over Tottenham in February, have just about seen them over the line.
They have a tough end to the campaign with Chelsea, Man City, Everton and Arsenal all to face, but equally can go into these games with little to lose and plenty of confidence after winning three on the bounce. Dyche will be keen to make sure his men do not take their foot off the gas having come so far.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Burnley (Sky Bet odds: 5/1)
Not expecting this to be a cracker on Monday Night Football. Burnley are pretty much safe now and could coast to the end of the season, but you can bet they will go to London well organised and tough to beat. They have got some good results at Turf Moor, but away at Stamford Bridge is another ask against a Chelsea side battling for a top four spot. Substance over style will work for Sarri's men.
Best bet: Eden Hazard to score two or more at 4/1
A match quite difficult to find value from when the hosts are so well fancied in a match that is not expected to be too thrilling. The man that can light it up though is Chelsea's star, who could finish the season strongly with those Real Madrid rumours refusing to go away. The Belgian has scored in his last three Premier League appearances in front of Chelsea fans, including a brace in their recent MNF win over London rivals West Ham. Hazard, shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award, averages nearly three shots per game in the league and has had 10 in his last three appearances. He is clinical and can provide the class on the night. His price is short anytime, but for him to at least bag a double at 4s, it's worth considering.
Stats: Ashley Westwood 1+ shots on target at 4/1
It is often worth looking at the underdog's players in the shots market in games like this, where you can find some tempting prices such as this one on Ashley Westwood. As much as many probably expect it to be one sided, Burnley should have some chances at the other end and central midfielder Westwood could fancy his chances. The 29-year-old scored in Burnley's last away outing at Bournemouth and has had four shots in his last two games, 10 in his last seven, so he is not afraid of trying his luck and at 4/1 it is worth a small stake.
- Chelsea have won six of their nine Premier League matches against Burnley (D2 L1), though they did lose this exact fixture last season (2-3).
- Burnley have only won one of their last 11 matches away to Chelsea in all competitions (D3 L7), though it was their last such match at Stamford Bridge. The Clarets haven’t won back-to-back matches at Chelsea since December 1961.
- Chelsea have only lost one of their 20 Premier League matches played on a Monday at Stamford Bridge (W15 D4) – a 2-3 defeat to Manchester United on Boxing Day in 1994 under manager Glenn Hoddle.
- None of Burnley’s previous nine Premier League matches played on a Monday have ended in a draw, with the Clarets winning three and losing six of those games.
- Chelsea have lost just one of their last 20 home league games (W12 D7), 0-1 against Leicester in December. No side has conceded fewer home goals in the Premier League this term than the Blues (10, same as Liverpool).
- Burnley have won three consectuive Premier League games for the second time this season, last winning more in a row in the competition in April 2018 (a run of five).
- Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante has scored three Premier League goals this season, with all of them being the winning strike in the match – the best such 100% record in the competition this term.
- Since the start of last season, Chris Wood has scored more Premier League goals than any other Burnley player (20).
- Eden Hazard has scored nine goals in 17 Premier League games played on a Monday, more than any other Chelsea player in the competition. He netted a brace in his last such game, against West Ham earlier this month.
- Burnley’s Dwight McNeil has been directly involved in eight Premier League goals this season (3 goals, 5 assists), the joint-most of any teenager in the competition (level with Ryan Sessegnon). The last teenager to score a Premier League goal against Chelsea was Marcus Rashford for Man Utd in April 2017.
Title rivals Liverpool and Man City dominate the shortlist for PFA Player of the Year, with Virgil Van Dijk and Raheem Sterling the front-runners.
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Odds correct as of 1730 BST on 20/04/19