Another London clash on home soil awaits Chelsea as they host relegation-threatened West Ham on Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s side suffered a damaging 3-1 home defeat to their top four rivals Tottenham last weekend which has seen them fall eight points behind the Champions League places. There is a good chance to make money online this weekend as Chelsea will be looking to get back to winning ways and the odds look favourable on Profit Accumulator – make the most of them!
Ahead of their game against David Moyes’ side, here are the five things to look out for at the weekend:
#1 Reaction to Tottenham humiliation
Spurs recorded their first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990 and in doing so (more than likely) ended Chelsea’s hopes of finishing in the top four. As you would expect, the Stamford Bridge faithful will not be too pleased. Therefore, the fans will be expecting, at the very least, a positive reaction to that loss. A failure to do so could result in a toxic atmosphere at the Bridge which wouldn’t benefit anyone but the opposing team.
#2 Return of Courtois?
Willy Caballero started in between the sticks against Tottenham, with first-team keeper Thibaut Courtois injured. Caballero didn’t cover himself in glory when he had a number of nervy moments during the game, not forgetting that he conceded three goals. Two of the strikes, particularly, the wonder goal from Christian Eriksen were near-on impossible to stop but the third goal was one in which the Argentine will be disappointed with the most. Nonetheless, with Courtois returning to training this week, he will be expected to reclaim his place in goal.
#3 Change of system?
It is something many Chelsea supporters are calling out for following a number of poor results and performances during this campaign. A change of system last term played a major part in Conte lifting the Premier League title. It’s too late for the Italian to have any impact like that now but he can still end the season on a high. The London club still have an outside chance of finishing in the Champions League places but, more realistically, they can still win the FA Cup.
#4 Will Drinkwater start?
Since his move from Leicester in the summer, Drinkwater has only started five Premier League games for Conte. Injuries have played their part but there have been a number of occasions when his manager has opted to keep him on the bench. Considering, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas have failed to produce the goods in the middle of the park, it is a surprise why Drinkwater has not been given enough game time in the midfield. Drinkwater’s ability to pick out an early pass, be comfortable on the ball and be competent going back should be enough to earn him a starting spot against the Hammers.
#5 Change in defence?
I think many will be left surprised if Conte doesn’t make changes to his defence after the poor showing at the weekend. The wing-backs, particularly Victor Moses’ spot, will be under most threat, with Antonio Rudiger the other player possibly making way. Conte does have the option of choosing the experienced Gary Cahill but his form has also dipped this season.