Burnley boss Sean Dyche doubts Chelsea will be any less of a tough opponent on Saturday following the news Roman Abramovich is selling the club.
Abramovich’s intention to sell the Blues was confirmed in a club statement on Wednesday evening, shortly before the FA Cup tie at Luton that they won 3-2 having twice been behind.
Dyche was asked at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash at Turf Moor if he thought the ownership situation potentially being on Chelsea players’ minds was possibly something Burnley could take advantage of.
And he said: “I doubt it. They’ve still got some top players.
“I didn’t think they overly struggled at Luton, I thought Luton gave a very good performance and Chelsea, as they do, found big moments because they have big players.
“I think anything that does affect them, if it does affect them, is helpful. But I don’t really see that they’ve suddenly become a bad team or anything. They’ve got some fine players, that’s for sure, so I’m thinking they’re still going to be a solid outfit as a minimum.
“Even in what people have described as an indifferent run, they’ve only lost one in 10 (league games). I think that’s a fair reflection on the fact they’re still a powerful side.”
Abramovich’s decision to sell, amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, comes with Chelsea having won 19 major trophies since he purchased the club in 2003.
Dyche said when asked if he felt Abramovich had made the right call in the circumstances: “I have no clue of the whys and wherefores of their club and the situation. That’ll be down to him.”
On the Russian-Israeli billionaire’s time at Chelsea, Dyche said: “Nineteen trophies in 19 years, I don’t think that’s a bad stat, I think he’ll be reasonably happy with that. All the other whys and wherefores are in-house situations.
“Overall, I think when you look at the structure, the size of the club, what it was and what it is, I don’t know but I imagine most Chelsea fans will be pretty happy with the work that’s been done there and certainly the amount of money that’s been put in to try to get the club to where it is now, as certainly a very recognized part of the Premier League and of world football.
“I think on that score, most Chelsea fans would appreciate what has gone on over those years.”
Dyche also said Burnley skipper Ben Mee had argued “more of a knock than a twist” in terms of the knee issue that saw him substituted in the first half of Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Leicester, and that it was not yet clear whether the defender would be involved on Saturday.
Dyche said: “Ben’s going to be touch and go I think to whether he makes it, and obviously (there’s) the risk and reward of that scenario. So we’ll wait and see on more news tomorrow on him.
“It is more of a knock, which is favourable, rather than a twist. But it’s whether he makes it in time, whether it can settle down in time.”
Burnley are currently a point adrift of safety in 18th place having played a game more than 17th-placed Everton, while Thomas Tuchel’s European and world champions Chelsea lie third in the table.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.