English Premier League

Chelsea v Bournemouth: Back Palmer and Solanke to play starring roles

Mauricio Pochettino Chelsea
Poch will be hoping his side can continue to impress with their performance level and secure European football on home turf

Chelsea head into their final game of the 2023/24 season knowing that they are guaranteed European qualification as long as they avoid defeat. Abigail Davies has three bets for Sunday at the Bridge...

Betfair Premier League Superboost

In a weekend where the title is heading to either Manchester or North London, both Pep Guardiola's and Mikel Arteta's side must turn up on Sunday, just incase the other does win. City know the title is theirs with a win, whilst Arsenal are relying on West Ham to do them a favour and any dropped points from City means the Gunners can win the title with a win over Everton.

Betfair have decided to get involved in the title race, and offer a Superboost across both title defining matches, with both the West Ham and Everton GK each to make 3+ saves, now priced at 1/12.00 (was [1/4!]).

Interestingly, only Man Utd's goalkeeper has a higher save ratio than Everton's (74%) and West Ham's (73%), with Jordan Pickford (3.2) and Alphone Areola (4.3) averaging over the 3+ barrier in their Premier League games this season.

Both 'keepers are set to be very busy on Sunday, as not only do they come up against sides who need to win, they come up against sides who are in red hot form in front of goal.

Man City are averaging 7.6 shots on target per home game in 2024, firing 36 on target across their last three games. They also lead the league overall this season with 7.2 per game.

Arsenal meanwhile, have managed 3+ shots on target in all eight of their home games in 2024, averaging 7.1 per game since the turn of the year.

Expect Pickford and Areola to be in the firing line on Sunday.

Twelve points currently separate Europa League chasing Chelsea and Bournemouth who occupy 11th spot in the Premier League table heading into the final weekend of action.

Since being torn apart by Arsenal last month, Chelsea have enjoyed a real upturn in fortunes, coming from 2-0 down to pick up a point at Villa Park before going on to win their next four top flight fixtures.

A side developing and maturing greatly, European qualification seemed an overly ambitious aim for much of the season but as players have learned and adapted to the demands of the division, excitement has understandably continued to grow at the same speed as this young, inexperienced but hugely talented squad.

In the reverse contest, the sides played out a goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium, with Mauricio Pochettino's men twice hitting the woodwork as both teams carved out a whole host of chances, Robert Sanchez crucial between the sticks for the visitors.

Poch has hinted that Frenchman Christopher Nkunku may be fit enough to start on Sunday, which would provide yet more encouragement for the hosts who can feel optimistic about their future after a testing campaign.

Given the free-flowing football Chelsea have played over recent weeks and the opportunities that they've created, I like the look of the home side registering two shots on target in each half and having two or more corners in each half at 10/111.91.

Palmer to play a big part

Cole Palmer has been a real shining light. The attacking midfielder has shown great versatility and enjoyed a remarkable season but it would take something utterly ludicrous for him to win the Golden Boot ahead of Erling Haaland who has found the back of the net five times more than the 22-year-old.

The Englishman has made countless intelligent runs, his movement is superb, and in addition to his ability in front of goal, his link-up play has also been eye-catching.

Thanks to his vision and creativity, Palmer has been directly involved in the same number of goals as Haaland in the league, having provided 10 assists to go with his 22 goals.

Solanke to score against former club

As for the visitors Bournemouth, Andoni Iraola's impressive first season in charge has resulted in a nomination for Manager of the Year.

Having come through the ranks at Chelsea, Dominic Solanke has really found a home at Bournemouth and the 26-year-old's goals have significantly contributed to his side's league position.

His pace, clever movement and ability to stretch defences has caused opponents all sorts of problems over the course of this campaign and he is 15/82.88 to score and take his tally to 20 for the season.

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