Another trip within London!
Chelsea’s local tour of London continues this weekend as we travel to the London Stadium to play local rivals West Ham. West Ham sit 4th in the table with 24 points having won 7 drawn 3 and lost 4 of their games. 2 of the four losses have come in their last three games against Wolves and Man City. Their latest result was a draw against Brighton. West Ham started the season brilliantly but have tailed off a bit in recent weeks although Moyes has carried on from their good form last year and their Europa League campaign is also going well. It is a big game for West Ham though because Arsenal are just a point behind them while Wolves in 8th are 3 points behind them. They are well and truly in a top four race at the moment and this is a 6 pointer of sorts.
Chelsea go into this game having been inconsistent in recent weeks. At the moment Chelsea have been alternating between a draw or a win each game and Tuchel and co really need to stop the draws and once again start accumulating those wins. Watford was a very poor performance but given the larger scheme of things with injuries etc we did well to leave Vicarage Road with three points and seasons prior we might have lost that game. There were several things wrong with that game and like Tuchel said we never really challenged for the ball. This performance along with the fact that we failed to beat Manchester United means that the players will be hungry to return to form and the fans will want to see Chelsea return to the levels we displayed against Juventus. Our last away result was our 0-3 win against Leicester and we were brilliant in that game.
Chelsea Team Preview
Mendy should start in goal with a back three of Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. Reece James should start as the right wing back having recovered from his knock while I have a feeling Hudson-Odoi might be given a start at left wing back. Saul could play there as alluded to again but Tuchel but I don’t think he will start this game. Hudson-Odoi can provide the threat we need along with the pace that is lacking with Alonso. Jorginho should also return from his knock while Loftus-Cheek should start in midfield once again. Up front I expect Mount, Ziyech, and Lukaku to get the nod. Mount played the full 90 against Watford but this is a London derby and we will need Mount’s energy. Ziyech has had a few good games in a row now and he should get the start after having come off the bench. Lukaku got 10 minutes against United and 20 against Watford and we should now see him start up front as he looks to get his goalscoring form back on. There are as usual plenty of offensive options on the bench with Havertz, Pulisic etc but either one of those could start. Kovacic, Chilwell, Kante, and Chalobah remain out.
West Ham Team Preview
West Ham are without Ogbonna long term but Cresswell has started light training although I doubt he will be risked for this game. Fabianski should start in goal with a back four of Coufal, Dawson, Zouma, and Johnson. Soucek and Rice are Moyes’s first midfield pair while Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma, and Antonio make up the offensive force. There are plenty of options on the bench as well with Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Vlasic, Masuaku etc causing problems. Zouma is also playing against his former club for the first time which will be a weird experience for him. Benrahma started the season brilliantly and has been dangerous this season while the likes of Soucek, Rice, Coufal also cause problems. Up front Antonio is always a handful and Chelsea’s defenders will have to be on form to keep him quiet.
Starting XI Prediction
It’s a big game between two very well coached teams. Chelsea will be up for it and will have to be up for it because the fans will want a good response after that dire performance against Watford. Some important players back and Lukaku hopefully to return to goal scoring form. COME ON CHELSEA!!!