After last week’s disappointing defeat at the hands of Spurs, Chelsea will look to bounce back in another London derby when they face West Ham at Stamford Bridge. The Hammers come into the game on the back of an impressive 3-0 win over struggling Southampton last weekend but have a poor record at SW6.
David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu have been ruled out with injuries and it doesn’t look like either of them will feature until May at the earliest.
Davide Zappacosta is a doubt with a muscle injury so Victor Moses should continue at right wing-back.
Thibaut Courtois and Ross Barkley could feature having missed out on the Tottenham game with injury while Pedro is also available after recovering from his knock.
Michail Antonio, Winston Reid, Pedro Obiang, Sam Byram and Andy Carroll will all be missing for the visitors through injury.
Manuel Lanzini and James Collins are doubts but David Moyes is hopeful they can play some part on Sunday while Javier Hernandez is available again after illness.
Probable Chelsea XI (3-4-3): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Hazard, Morata, Willian.
Probable West Ham XI (3-5-2): Adrian; Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Zabaleta, Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Masuaku; Arnautovic, Hernandez.
With Chelsea’s defence frailties being exposed once again by the likes of Dele Alli last week, Andreas Christensen and co. will have to pay special attention to Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez who have both caused damage to the Blues in the past. Christensen has generally performed well in his debut season with the first team but has made mistakes in recent games that he’ll need to put behind him.
Eden Hazard did not have much of an impact on last week’s game but will look to stamp his authority on this London derby and will be up against Pablo Zabaleta, who he has taunted during the right back’s Manchester City days, so the Belgian may get some joy this Sunday.
There are question marks over Cesc Fabregas’s ability to play in a midfield two and he’ll be up against a strong and powerful West Ham midfield this week. He’ll have to find as much space as possible to create chances for his teammates but shaking off Mark Noble or Cheikhou Kouyate isn’t as easy as it sounds.
West Ham are without a win at Stamford Bridge since 2002 when a double from Paolo Di Canio helped the Hammers to a 3-2 victory over Claudio Ranieri’s Chelsea.
Chelsea have failed to score in just 1 of their last 16 home games against Sunday’s visitors – that came in a goalless draw in 2014 under Jose Mourinho.
Javier Hernandez has scored 8 goals in 13 games during his career against the Blues and has notched in 5 of his last 6 visits to Stamford Bridge in all competitions.
Thibaut Courtois hasn’t kept a clean sheet against West Ham in each of his last 4 games against them.
David Moyes has never won a league game at Stamford Bridge and the only time he came away triumphant was after a penalty shoot-out win in the FA Cup in 2011.
However, records are there to be broken just like with saw with Spurs last week. Chelsea’s pursuit of Tottenham and Liverpool looks doomed to fail now but there is always hope with those two about.