Chelsea vs West Ham United: Preview, probable line-ups and prediction

Chelsea vs West Ham United

Chelsea (5) vs West Ham United (14)
English Premier League
Sunday, April 8, 16:30 BST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, London


Following the tragic passing of club legend Ray “Butch” Wilkins earlier this week, the fans will be hoping to see the team have an inspired run-in to the end of the season. Finishing in the Champions League places is going to be difficult, but we are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, a competition Wilkins won with us as assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti back in 2010.

After last week’s 3-1 defeat to Spurs, there isn’t much left for us to play for in the Premier League. We’re now eight points adrift of the top 4, with seven games left to play. Judging by our current form of five defeats in seven, there are still more point to be dropped before the campaign is through.

Having said that, games against West Ham are always ones we want to win. We haven’t lost at home to The Hammers in 11 years, but then again, Tottenham beat us after 28. The Hammers though, are stuck in a relegation battle and if a win here would put them closer to danger, I’d take that any day of the week. A 3-0 win over Southampton has lifted them up to 14th in the table, but they are still only 5 points off the bottom 3.

They will be aiming to do the Double over us, after beating us 1-0 at the Olympic Stadium back in December. This was David Moyes’ first win as West Ham manager, and more or less rubber stamped our fate in the title race. We were absolutely dismal that day, failing to create anything of note in a game where the opposition was there for the taking. The last time West Ham won both their league games against us was back in the 2002-03 season when ironically, they went to be relegated.

In his press conference yesterday, Conte spoke about continuing to try and push for Champions League football next season, despite last week’s disastrous result.

We have to try to do everything to continue to have the possibility to fight for a place in the Champions League. It won’t be easy, we have to be realistic, but at the same time we have to give all of ourselves. We must show pride, desire, will to fight until the end of the season – this must be our target now.

I think that everyone has to show pride, desire and a will to fight until the end of the season. This is very important for me, for my staff and for the players, also because the supporters deserve at least this.

Chelsea team news

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and winger Pedro, who both missed last week’s defeat, are in contention to be back for this one. Courtois has been nursing a muscle injury sustained last month, while Pedro was out with an unspecified knock.

David Luiz and Ross Barkley are still a while away from returning from their respective injuries, while Ethan Ampadu is out for the season.

West Ham team news

Manuel Lanzini could be back for this one after missing the win over Southampton last week with a knee injury, while Michael Antonio has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a hamstring problem. James Collins is also nursing his hamstring and is a doubt for this one.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, often the scourge of Chelsea in the past at Stamford Bridge, is set to return after recovering from an illness.

Chelsea probable line-up

Chelsea vs West Ham United

West Ham United probable line-up

Chelsea vs West Ham United

Prediction

Nothing is a given nowadays at Chelsea, but surely we won’t lose two home London derbies in a row. West Ham could take their foot off the pedal a bit after their huge win last week, and hopefully we can capitalise and get all three points. Let’s do this for Ray!

Chelsea 3-0 West Ham United


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