Charlie Nicholas predicts Chelsea defeat on trip to Burnley
Charlie Nicholas believes that Chelsea will struggle defensively to handle Burnley at the weekend and is predicting them to lose on their trip to Turf Moor.
The Blues travel to Burnley on Saturday evening for a Premier League fixture and go into the contest with huge momentum in their favour.
Frank Lampard’s side have won their last six games across all competitions, which included a remarkable 1-0 away victory against Ajax in midweek in the Champions League group stages.
Chelsea have sharpened up at the back in the past month, while going forward they look a brilliant goalscoring team that can carve through most sides.
Sky Sports pundit Nicholas has made a slightly surprise prediction ahead of the weekend that Lampard’s team will slip to a 2-1 loss against Burnley.
He feels the weakness lies in the Chelsea centre-back area, which will be exploited by the Clarets duo of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes.
“Chelsea have been more consistent than I thought what with the shift of Frank Lampard coming in and everything that came with it,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“Fikayo Tomori is also playing well, but I am not sure whether the Chelsea centre-backs have a partnership to cope with Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood when they get the service that they do.
“If there is an upset of the weekend then I am looking at this match. The Burnley style may not be attractive to some people but it is so effective.”
Chelsea know they are in for a tough physical contest at the weekend and Burnley sit eighth in the league table as it stands on merit.
The Wood-Barnes combination in attack is one of the most powerful in the division that is full of strength and they have scored four league goals each so far this season.
But to suggest the Blues don’t have the tools to cope with them is slightly over the top, as Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma are more than up for a tough challenge.
With Antonio Rudiger sidelined recently, Chelsea have found a partnership that continues to grow at the back and they helped keep a clean sheet away to Ajax.
It will be a difficult test altogether at Burnley, but both Tomori and Zouma have the pace and power capable of mixing it with Burnley’s strike force.
They should have the quality to deal with them from open play and it’s up to the team to ensure they are much more switched on from set-pieces.