Chelsea vs West Ham United – All you need to know – West Ham United return to Premier League action on Monday evening with a trip to Chelsea, with kick-off at 8pm. The Hammers could go as high as fourth in the Premier League with a win, should Leicester City and Manchester United’s results go their way. West Ham kick-off on 21 points from 13 games, one place and one point below the Blues. David Moyes’ side have lost just one of their last six matches, winning four, while Frank Lampard’s men have lost their previous two at the hands of Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers, both of them away from home.
Monday’s game will be played without supporters present as London is currently in Tier 4 of the Government’s COVID-19 restrictions, but it will be broadcast live in the UK by Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Ultra HD, and across the world by the Premier League’s international partners.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, David Moyes revealed that centre-back Fabian Balbuena – who missed the Wednesday’s 1-1 home draw with Crystal Palace with a groin injury – and Michail Antonio – who has been out of action in recent weeks with a hamstring problem – will both require further assessment.
Frank Lampard held his press conference on Friday, when he said it was too early to say whether wingers Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi will return to the squad for Monday’s game after suffering hamstring injuries. However, England right-back Reece James is out with a knee injury.
The opposition – Chelsea
After spending an estimated £250 million in the summer, Chelsea have made an up-and-down start to the 2020/21 season, sweeping through their UEFA Champions League group unbeaten, but winning just six of their opening 13 Premier League matches and losing to rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup fourth round.
The Blues brought in a new goalkeeper, Senegal’s Eduouard Mendy from Rennes, England left-back Ben Chilwell from Leicester City, experienced Brazil centre-back Thiago Silva from Paris Saint-Germain, Morocco winger Hakim Ziyech from Ajax and Germany international attackers Kai Havertz and Timo Werner from Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig respectively.
The new arrivals joined a squad that already included a host of internationals, including five other England internationals, France’s FIFA World Cup winners N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud, plus many other top-class stars.
With such a large outlay and so much talent, Chelsea might have hoped to launch a sustained title bid, and that may still materialise, but recent defeats by Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers suggest the Blues’ more realistic target may be a place in the top four.
West Ham United and Chelsea meet in the Premier League for the 49th time on Monday evening. The Hammers have won 14 of the previous 48, with Chelsea winning 25 and nine draws.
Five of the Irons’ 14 wins came at Stamford Bridge, including a 1-0 success last season, when Aaron Cresswell scored the only goal of the game in November 2019. In fact, West Ham are seeking a third successive Premier League win over the Blues for the first time since winning four in a row between 1972-74, having done the double over their London rivals last term.
West Ham’s biggest-ever top-flight win at Stamford Bridge was in March 1986, when John Lyall’s side thrashed John Hollins’ Blues 4-0. The highest-scoring top-flight game at Chelsea was in December 1966, when the two sides shared ten goals in a 5-5 draw.
Match officials – Chelsea vs West Ham United
Referee: Chris Kavanagh Assistant referees: Dan Cook & Sian Massey-Ellis Fourth official: Simon Hooper VAR: David Coote Assistant VAR: Nick Hopton
A member of the Manchester Football Association, Chris Kavanagh is in his fourth season as a Select Group referee.
Born in Manchester in 1985, Kavanagh was 13 when he began his refereeing career, moving up through the non-league pyramid to the National League in 2012, aged 27.
Kavanagh was promoted to the Football League in 2014 before refereeing his first Premier League fixture between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton in April 2017.
In all, Kavanagh has refereed nearly 270 senior matches, including 74 Premier League games, UEFA Champions League and Europa League fixtures, friendly internationals, UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers and UEFA Nations League ties.
Kavanagh’s first West Ham United appointment was the FA Cup fourth-round defeat at Wigan Athletic in January 2018. Since then, he has taken charge of eight Premier League fixtures featuring the Hammers, with the most recent being the 3-1 win at Watford in August 2019.
Frank Lampard put the 2-1 loss to Wolves at Molineux down to fatigue, his side having let a one-goal lead given to them by Olivier Giroud slip away in the final 25 minutes.
Given the tight nature of the division, Chelsea entered matchday 14 down in seventh place, six points off reigning champions and current pacesetters Liverpool.
Chelsea therefore cannot afford to lose a third straight league match for the first time since 2015, especially with games against Arsenal, Aston Villa and Manchester City up next.
Lampard’s men have drawn two of their last four home league matches, and four of the last seven in all competitions, which is something West Ham will be looking to capitalise on.
The Hammers have won back-to-back away top-flight games, against Sheffield United and Leeds, which is as many as they managed in their previous 14 on the road.
David Moyes‘s side may have been held to a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace in midweek, but 13 points from the last 18 on offer is a good return ahead of the festive programme.https://9a4e94862f8b75bd9c7623bfc20ab046.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0
Christian Benteke put Palace ahead in Wednesday’s match at the London Stadium only for Sebastien Haller to hit back for the Hammers.
It means West Ham have now gained five points from losing positions in the Premier League this term, matching their tally from the whole of 2019-20.
That is one of a number of areas United have improved on from last season, and Moyes will now be hoping to keep the feel-good factor alive with another positive result on Monday.
Chelsea Premier League form: WWDWLL Chelsea form (all competitions): DWWDLL
West Ham United Premier League form: WWWLWD
We say: Chelsea 2-1 West Ham United
Chelsea have lost only one of their last 14 Premier League home games against West Ham, though that was in this corresponding fixture last season.
Indeed, the Hammers won home and away against Chelsea last season and are looking to win three in a row against their London rivals in the top flight for the first time since 1974.
The visitors enter this game in high spirits, even if they were held in midweek, but we can see Chelsea’s squad depth helping them pull through this final pre-Christmas fixture.
Top betting tip – Chelsea vs West Ham United
Our expert tipster partners at ke.sportpesa.com are predicting a home win in this match.
Chelsea possible starting lineup: Mendy; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Kovacic, Kante, Mount; Pulisic, Giroud, Werner
West Ham United possible starting lineup: Fabianski; Coufal, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Snodgrass, Benrahma, Fornals; Haller
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