Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 7/10
In what could turn out to be a crucial meeting in the top-four chase, West Ham will host London rivals Chelsea from behind closed doors on Saturday evening.
Starting with the hosts, while West Ham might have continued to shock many across the Premier League this season, The Hammers will be desperate to put last weekend’s heartbreak behind them. Despite mounting a resilient comeback away at relegation outsiders Newcastle, David Moyes’ 10-man team were eventually hit with an action-packed 3-2 defeat on their travels. Making a string of costly mistakes at St. James’ Park, the former Manchester United boss will have a real headache over his side’s extended issues at the back. Along with that 3-3 draw against Arsenal when heading into the international break, West Ham have now conceded 10 goals in just their last four contests. Opening up this weekend’s fixtures only sat outside of the Champions League spots thanks to their goal difference, there is no doubt that The Hammers will be calling on the red-hot Jesse Lingard to spearhead their charge. Converting from the spot against Newcastle last weekend, the England international has bagged nine goals since moving to The London Stadium.
After being sent off against Newcastle last weekend, defender Craig Dawson will serve a suspension on Saturday evening.
The Hammers also look set to once again be without the likes of Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell.
As for the visitors, while Chelsea would have been disappointed to have only played out a 0-0 stalemate against Brighton at Stamford Bridge earlier in the week, The Blues should still be boosted by their shock display at Wembley last weekend. Gaining a string of admirers since bringing in Thomas Tucehl back in January, the former Premier League champions picked up a 1-0 win against runaway leaders Manchester City. In for what is a crucial week both domestically and in Europe, Chelsea also have a Champions League semi-final fast approaching. Eventually coming past Portuguese giants Porto thanks to a 2-1 aggregate win earlier in the month, the former PSG boss has a showdown against Real Madrid on the cards for next week. Desperate to gain a crucial advantage in the top-four chase, they have also caught the eye with their extended performances on the road. Last seen away from Stamford Bridge landing a 4-1 romp at Crystal Palace, The Blues are unbeaten in each of their last 10 straight fixtures outside of West London.
Midfielder Mateo Kovacic will once again miss out this weekend due to a hamstring injury.
Likewise, veteran defender Thiago Silva will also miss Saturday’s trip across the capital.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Chelsea picked up a 3-0 victory on home soil.
- West Ham have conceded 10 goals in just their last four Premier League matchups.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in each of their last 10 straight fixtures away from Stamford Bridge.
- England international Jesse Lingard has recorded nine goals since making the move to The London Stadium.
- Seven of West Ham’s last eight home matchups across all formats have finished with over 2.5 goals.
While West Ham might have shocked many across the Premier League this season, The Hammers could face a stern test on home soil. Making a string of costly mistakes in their action-packed 3-2 defeat away at Newcastle last weekend, Saturday’s hosts have shown some rather glaring issues at the back. Shipping 10 goals in their last four Premier League matchups, Chelsea should be smelling the chance to lay down a marker across the capital. Despite only collecting a point against Brighton earlier in the week, The Blues have really caught the eye since bringing in Thomas Tuchel. Unbeaten in each of their last 10 straight fixtures away from Stamford Bridge and landing a 3-0 win when they faced off against West Ham earlier in the season, we’re backing a similar away victory on Saturday evening.
Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 7/10
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