CHELSEA v West Ham: Preview

Date: Sunday 8th April, 2018

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 16:30 BST

 

Where do we start with this game?

Last time out, we could and should have capitalised on our first half against Spurs but as seems to be a habit of ours this season, we allowed errors to creep in and a proverbial game of two halves ended in our capitulation and ultimate embarrassment at the hands of Pochettino’s media darlings.

This time out its West Ham and on top of this season’s dressing room turmoil being acted out on the pitch, we have a more emotive reason for the home support to express displeasure if the game does not follow an anticipated course today. Of course, I’m referring to the sad and untimely death of Chelsea favourite Ray Wilkins this week, which will have left many of the home faithful feeling raw and emotional.

Whatever Antonio Conte says publicly, we know we are well and truly out of the Champions League places, but today won’t be about league position for many of us – today will be about honouring one of our own. Anything less than 110% from the players will make for a very uncomfortable 90 minutes for all concerned.

The supporters will undoubtedly honour Ray Wilkins in a manner fitting the regard in which he’s held at Chelsea, woe betide the manager and players if they fail to do the same.

  

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte, saysWe 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 shoe 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.”

West Ham manager David Moyes meanwhile, says “We’re not safe yet. We need more points. Next up is Chelsea and we need some points there. It gave us all a boost to win last weekend. It was an emphatic performance in the first half and it gave us the chance to go on and win the game quite well.  I’m always basing myself on the fact that 40 points is what we need to get to. Hopefully it won’t take as much as that, but to get to 40 is a long way to go for the teams below us. We need to focus on picking up seven or eight points ourselves.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu are both out, although Courtois and Pedro could be available again.

For West Ham, Michail Antonio is definitely out and Manuel Lanzini and James Collins are both doubts, whilst Javier Hernandez is available again.

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Hazard

WEST HAM (Possible line-up): Hart; Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Zabaleta, Kouyate, Noble, Masuaku; Antonio, Arnautovic, Joao

 

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 2-1 West Ham (15 August 2016)

 

RECENT FORM (PL)

CHELSEA: LWLLWL

WEST HAM: LWLLLW

 

OTHER STUFF

~ Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League home matches against West Ham

~ West Ham last won at Stamford Bridge in September 2002

~ A win would see West Ham complete a league double against Chelsea for the first time since 2002-03

~ Chelsea have lost five of their last seven Premier League games – as many defeats as they suffered in total last season.

~ Chelsea could suffer back-to-back league defeats at Stamford Bridge for the first time since November 2011

~ West Ham have lost all three of their Premier League games played on a Sunday this season.

~ West Ham have lost their last three Premier League away games.

~ David Moyes has yet to win a Premier League game away to Chelsea, drawing six and losing eight of 14 top-flight matches at Stamford Bridge.

 

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Chelsea 2-0 West Ham

Sky Sports: Chelsea 2-0 West Ham

SportsMole: Chelsea 1-0 West Ham


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