Friday, April 26, 2019

Prediction: Chelsea vs West Ham

Verdict: Chelsea win and under 3.5 goals

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

With the chance to climb back into the top four, Chelsea will host London rivals West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

Chelsea

Starting with the hosts, while they may not have been at their best at the back end of the season, Chelsea will still have their sights set on a Champions League return and will be boosted by their 3-0 win over Brighton last week. With the chance to leapfrog Arsenal to that lucrative fourth spot, another win for Maurizio Sarri’s side would see them win three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since winning their opening five matches of the campaign. With a Europa League quarter-final to look forward to later in the week, a big part of their push for a top four finish has been their ongoing success at Stamford Bridge. They have lost just once at home all season with that defeat coming against Leicester on the 22nd of December. One man who famously enjoys his matchups against West Ham is striker Olivier Giroud. The World Cup winner has had a hand in nine goals in 11 Premier League games against West Ham, scoring six and assisting three – his best return against any side.

Team News

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi could make consecutive Premier League starts for the first time after impressing in the midweek win against Brighton.

Marco Alonso and Pedro are both injury doubts but Gonzalo Higuain, Willian and Ross Barkley may return after being rested on Wednesday.

West Ham

As for the visitors, coming off the back of a lackluster display in their 2-0 defeat at home to Everton last week, it has been an incredibly inconsistent year for West Ham. Now slipping outside of the top-half of the Premier League table and hunting down a four-point deficit, a huge part of the Hammers’ struggles this season as been their form away from the London Stadium. Losing their last two matches on the road, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have now failed to win any of their last seven away matches across all competitions, a run that stems back to a 2-1 win over Southampton back on the 27th of December. Although their form since the turn of the New Year has been questionable, Monday’s visitors have saved their best performances for their London derbies. Including taking points off of Chelsea back in September, they have won four of their last five London derbies in the Premier League, drawing the other.

Team News

Felipe Anderson is set to make a first appearance for West Ham since mid-March following an ankle problem.

Samir Nasri and Ryan Fredericks have also recovered from injuries.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Chelsea are unbeaten in 12 home league meetings since a 2-3 loss in September 2002 (W8, D4).
  • The Blues have the division’s best home defensive record this season, conceding 10 goals.
  • Eden Hazard has registered a league-high 12 assists in this campaign, a career-best return.
  • West Ham are winless in six league away matches, losing five, since a 2-1 victory at Southampton on 27 December.
  • The Hammers have kept just two clean sheets on the road in 15 league fixtures.

Conclusion

With Arsenal slipping up away at Goodison on Sunday, Chelsea should see Monday as the perfect opportunity to climb back into the top four. Given the Blues’ ongoing record at Stamford Bridge, coupled with West Ham’s continued struggles away from the London Stadium, we’re backing the former champions to come away with the three points on Monday night.

Verdict: Chelsea win and under 3.5 goals

Best Odds: 6/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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