It’s back to Premier League action for Chelsea after their European antics in midweek and it’s a trip to the London Stadium as West Ham play hosts to Antonio Conte’s side. The Hammers are in desperate need for points having not won a game in the league since September and sit in the relegation zone. The Blues got the better of David Moyes on both occasions while he was at Sunderland last season and they will certainly be looking to do the same before the two Manchester teams meet on Sunday.
Michy Batshuayi scored two goals during a Checkatrade Trophy game at MK Dons in midweek and looks to be back to full fitness to expect him to get some minutes. David Luiz is still a doubt with a knee injury he picked up in training a couple of weeks ago. Luckily for Chelsea, two of their most feared opponents in terms of goal scoring record against the Blues, Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll are both injured and won’t play any part on Saturday.
Cheikhou Kouyate is also unlikely to be involved due to a hamstring injury but Michail Antonio is in contention to start. Adrian is expected to continue in goal after he impressed in Joe Hart’s absence last weekend against Manchester City.
Since taking charge, David Moyes has opted to use Arthur Masuaku as a left winger and this could be the case again due to the threat of Victor Moses. Masuaku and Cresswell would form stern opposition to Moses’s driving runs down that right side. With West Ham’s ageing defenders, such as Jose Fonte and Pablo Zabaleta, Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata could get a lot of joy running in behind their defensive line so expect that to be a feature of Chelsea’s play.
Miguel Lanzini has three goals in his last three games against the Blues so N’Golo Kante will have to be well aware of the threat he poses in between the Chelsea midfield and defence.
Chelsea’s record at West Ham
The Blues have a 100% record (in the league – they lost there in the EFL Cup last season) at the London Stadium, winning their only game there since West Ham moved from Upton Park at the end of the 2015/16 season. Eden Hazard and Diego Costa got the goals as Conte’s men ran out 2-1 winners on their way to the Premier League title.
Before that, Chelsea had a mixed record at the Boleyn – winning three out of their last five meetings. This game usually produces goals as well – it has included at least three goals in five of the last six seasons. The exception to that was when Eden Hazard headed the only goal of the game back in 2015.
The Manchester Derby takes place on Sunday at Old Trafford and that means at least one of the teams above Chelsea in the table are going to drop points. And if Jose Mourinho gets his way, it’ll probably be both of them so now is the perfect time to gain some ground on the leaders and get back into that title race as defending champions.