It is safe to say that there is no time to linger on to the disappointing 3-0 loss against Bayern Munich. Instead, all our focus should be on the Bournemouth clash. Having lost 1-0 at home last time to Bournemouth, it is without question that this clash will be a tough one again. Chelsea really need all three points to ensure Champions League football next year, and to pick up momentum again.
Despite Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth struggling this season, they should not be underestimated. In the previous matchup, Bournemouth played a relatively low defensive block which frustrated Chelsea’s attack. They absorbed Chelsea’s attack and were able to counter-attack quickly due to their fast attackers. What is special about Bournemouth’s attack is their flexibility. Howe’s versatile style has seen Bournemouth’s shape take many different formations, which is possible due to his attacking players’ adaptability. Bournemouth’s attack consists of pacey and technical players that will cause serious trouble. Even though their attack this season has not been clinical, they are still a lethal force.
With that being said, there is one player that stands out to me in the Bournemouth squad and who I think Chelsea should be careful of. That player is Harry Wilson. Having joined Bournemouth on loan from Liverpool this season, Harry has solidified himself as an important centerpiece in Bournemouth’s attack. With seven goals this season, the crafty Welsh winger is someone Chelsea should be wary of.
Why Chelsea should be wary of Harry Wilson
Harry Wilson is the centerpiece of Bournemouth’s flexible attack, often creating and starting them. Wilson under Howe has often been deployed on the right attacking flank due to his technical capabilities. This gives him the opportunity in counter attacks to create the attacking plays by feeding it to other Bournemouth attackers who are pacey- such as Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, and Joshua King. Chelsea’s defense should take extra precaution against Bouremouth’s counter attacks and try to push Harry Wilson to the flank as he is most dangerous when cutting into the middle.
Another thing Chelsea should be careful of is Wilson’s abillity to get inbetween and break defensive lines. Wilson’s postional awarness allows him to exploit dangerous attacking spaces, which again, could be a tool that Eddie Howe utilizes against Chelsea in counter attacks. On top of that, Wilson often finds pockets in the opponent’s defense which attracts the defenders to him. He uses this to create space for Bournemouth’s fast attackers to get in behind the defense.
Lastly, Harry Wilson’s long-range shooting ability should be taken into account. As we have seen, he can score long-range goals from set pieces and open play, which Chelsea should be careful of. Since he drifts into the middle of the attack typically, the Chelsea defense should try to close him down fast and cut off the shot and passing lanes that he can easily exploit.
Although Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth is struggling this season, they should not be underestimated at all. Chelsea should be careful of Bournemouth’s counter attacks especially when Harry Wilson is orchestrating it. This game will be a huge test of character for Lampard’s squad, and a needed three points for Chelsea to bounce back.