Paul Merson makes bold prediction about Chelsea v Bournemouth

Paul Merson believes that Bournemouth could claim an upset at Chelsea on Saturday if Diego Costa is left out again

Paul Merson has warned Chelsea that Bournemouth are more than capable of causing an upset at Stamford Bridge on Saturday – especially if Diego Costa is left out.

The Blues head into Saturday evening’s clash in west London looking to return to winning ways in the top flight after they were held to a goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

Chelsea have struggled to find consistent form this season and have lost seven of their opening 14 Premier League games to leave them closer to the relegation zone than the top of the table.

And former Arsenal star Merson feels that the Blues could struggle if Costa is left out of the starting line-up, like he was against Spurs last weekend.

Merson told Sky Sports: “Diego Costa has to play for Chelsea. If he doesn’t I think Bournemouth could get something.

“Eddie Howe could set them up to squash the play and force Chelsea into playing it long. If they are forced to go long Eden Hazard, Pedro, Willian, and Oscar are not going to win any balls.

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“Bournemouth will be buoyed by the late goal they got against Everton. It was a big goal and something they can build on but it’s not ideal for them to have to travel to Stamford Bridge straight away.

“If Howe can get his tactics right and press Chelsea they will cause Jose Mourinho’s side a few problems. If they don’t it will be a comfortable win for the home side.”

Chelsea currently find themselves languishing in 14th place in the Premier League table, 14 points behind joint leaders Manchester City and Leicester City after 14 games of the season.

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