Monday 6th March. 8PM. Sky Sports 1
There’s no better way to wash away the Monday blues than with a Premier League encounter, and this week’s offering is set to be a cracker.
The title favourites head to London Stadium for the second time this season in what is their first ever league trip to Stratford. It should be a great atmosphere, and has the makings to be an equally thrilling night on the pitch too.
Bring it on!
Happier Hammers Out To Prove A Point
After a terrible start to life at the London Stadium, Slaven Bilic’s men have improved steadily and find themselves on course for a mid-table finish. For all those improvements, though, their form against the top sides has been anything from brilliant at home, and this is a chance to finally start turning things around.
The Hammers can take a little confidence from the EFL Cup win over a rotated Chelsea side back in October, but will be concerned by the fact matches against teams like Arsenal and Manchester City have ended in embarrassment.
Losing Michail Antonio to suspension certainly won’t help the hosts, but the likely return of Andy Carroll should restore some of their attacking threat, especially in a game where possession may not be easy to come by.
Bilic’s men aren’t desperate for points. However, a big result against a big team, particularly a rival, would go a long way to making Stratford feel like home. With nothing to lose, they could be a dangerous outfit.
Can Chelsea Take Another Step Towards The Title?
Having seen some of the teams around them drop points, it’s already been a fairly positive few days for the league leaders. If Antonio Conte’s men pick up a win here, the title race could potentially be over. On current form, they’d have to fancy their chances.
Chelsea have a full squad to choose from heading into this derby clash, and will be looking to dominate all over the pitch. With West Ham suffering problems down the right-wing, this could be one area where the likes of Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso enjoy a great deal of productivity.
The Blues have dropped points in three of the last four away league matches, though, which will be a slight cause for concern. Moreover, the Hammers did win last year’s corresponding fixture, albeit against a team that was a shadow of the current Chelsea crop.
It won’t be an easy task for the visitors. Nonetheless, if they can come through it unscathed, they’ll head into the FA Cup break with one hand already on the Premier League trophy. For that reason, along with the passionate rivalry between these two sides, it should be a thrilling encounter.
West Ham United v Chelsea Betting
Even with home advantage on their side, West Ham are understandably the big underdogs for this one and are priced 5/1 for the win with Betfred. Chelsea, meanwhile, are available at 8/13. The draw is 31/10.
West Ham are a fairly hard team to predict, and they could cause problems for the league leaders even without Antonio. However, it’s hard to feel concerned for their defence.
The Hammers have conceded at an alarming rate against the top teams, and none are as strong as Chelsea right now. Win, lose or draw, we see them conceding at least two more here.
Chelsea certainly have more star players than the hosts, and none are as exciting to watch as Hazard when he gets going. The Blues’ catalyst is likely to float between the middle and the left, which could cause nightmares for Bilic’s defence.
At 11/2, he’s got to be worth a shout for Man of the Match.