Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 5/4
Desperate to make a much-welcomed return to winning ways on Saturday lunchtime, Chelsea will travel across the capital when they meet West Ham at the London Stadium.
Starting with the hosts, last seen putting in a gritty display as they snatched a 1-1 draw away at Champions League chasers Newcastle, it appears that West Ham have turned a corner since opening 2023. Including a 2-0 victory against Everton on January 21st, David Moyes’ men have lost just one of their previous six domestic matchups across all formats. However, despite also extending on their FA Cup adventure last month thanks to another 2-0 win away at League One outfit Derby, the former Manchester United boss will know that he faces a tough test here. While the Hammers might have shocked many as they reached the Europa League semi-finals last season, Saturday’s hosts have really come crashing back down to earth this time around. At the heart of a relegation scrap and holding just a one-point buffer from slipping into the drop zone, Moyes’ side have also recorded just a single victory at the London Stadium since October 27th.
West Ham look set to once again be without the likes of Gianluca Scamacca, Kurt Zouma and Maxwel Cornet on Saturday afternoon. Likewise, limping off at St. James’ Park last weekend, defender Thilo Kehrer is likely to miss out here.
While Michail Antonio might be without a Premier League strike since the start of October, the 32-year-old should lead Moyes’ charge at the London Stadium.
As for the visitors, putting in another toothless display last weekend as they had to settle for a 0-0 stalemate at home against Fulham, Chelsea have the feel of a side seeking a much-needed boost. While the former European champions might have appointed Graham Potter back in September, they have failed to find any kind of stability under the ex-Brighton boss. Now at the heart of a mid-table scrap and currently sat 10 points adrift of breaking into the top-four, Potter does find growing pressure on his shoulders. Bagging just a single strike in their last three Premier League appearances, Chelsea have also gained a reputation for their extended domestic issues on the road. In fact, Saturday’s guests have remarkably failed to pick up a single top-flight win away from Stamford Bridge in their last six attempts – a run that stems back to a 2-0 victory against Aston Villa on October 16th.
In what looks set to be a major boost for Chelsea on Saturday lunchtime, Atletico Madrid loanee Joao Felix is set to make his return following a three-match suspension. Mykhailo Mudryk should feature after overcoming an illness.
However, Potter will once again be unable to call upon the likes of N’Golo Kante, Christian Pulisic, Edouard Mendy, Armando Broja and Denis Zakaria this weekend.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides last met back on September 3rd, Chelsea picked up a 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.
- In fact, Saturday’s guests have won four of their last five Premier League meetings against the Hammers.
- West Ham have managed to record just a single victory at the London Stadium since back on October 27th.
- Chelsea have managed to score just a single strike in their last three Premier League appearances.
- Likewise, the Blues have also failed to win any of their last six top-flight matchups away from Stamford Bridge.
While Chelsea might find themselves in the midst of an extended rut, the Blues could be smelling the chance to find a timely boost across the capital. Although the Hammers might have opened 2023 with somewhat of a domestic boost, West Ham are at the heart of a relegation scrap and have shown a string of issues on home soil this season. Losing four of their previous five showdowns at the London Stadium, Moyes’ men should also be worried by their downbeat record against Saturday’s guests. Including a 2-1 loss when they made the trip to Stamford Bridge back on September 3rd, the relegation scrappers have lost four of their last five meetings against the former European champions. Although Chelsea might be without a Premier League victory on the road since the middle of October, we’re backing them to draw a line under that rut here.
Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 5/4
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