Can Chelsea make it six wins from six?
Last updated: September 22, 2018 by Leon Marshal
|Venue:||The London Stadium|
|Last Meeting:||Chelsea 1 – 1 West Ham|
We start off on Sunday with a London derby between West Ham and Chelsea. The Blues travel East to the London stadium as they look to maintain their perfect start to the season and make it six wins from six.
After a horrendous start to the season and Pellegrini’s reign as West Ham boss, the Hammers finally turned things around and got their first win of the season last weekend at Everton. Pellegrini tinkered with the lineup, giving summer signing Yarmolenko his first start. The Ukrainian wasted no time in making an instant impact, scoring two goals and steering the Hammers to victory.
Much suggests that win was no fluke. Pellegrini also tinkered with the formation, opting for a 4-1-4-1. Everton found themselves overrun in midfield and often exposed at the back, so it’s likely that West Ham will employ this same approach, as Pellegrini begins to hone in on the optimal team and formation. The caveat for West Ham here is that top-scorer and main man Marko Arnautovic could miss out through injury. He was withdrawn early against Everton, but that was mostly precautionary, so he will be assessed over the coming days.
Chelsea, along with Liverpool, have made a perfect start to the season. Five wins from five league games means the Blues sit top of the league, although new boss Sarri continues to downplay talk of his team challenging for the title. Nevertheless, Chelsea look to be getting better and better. They were able to rest some players for Thursday night’s Europa league clash in Greece, something that their rivals with more difficult Champions League fixtures can ill afford to do.
Eden Hazard was one of those who ddin’t travel to Greece. The Belgian complained of tiredness, but that rest should mean he is back up to speed in time for this match. Hazard has been in incredible form after returning from the World Cup. He scored a hat-trick in his last game and with West Ham’s suspect defending, many will be expecting him to get on the score-sheet once again.
West Ham are hoping Marko Arnautovic will be passed fit. The striker was withdrawn early in the last match with a knee complaint.
Jack Wilshere will be out for around six weeks after picking up an injury in training.
Eden Hazard, David Luiz and Mateo Kovacic didn’t travel to Greece with the squad on Thursday.
Olivier Giroud started ahead of Morata in the last match, so it will be interesting to see which striker gets the nod here.
|West Ham (4-1-4-1):||Fabianski, Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku, Rice, Yarmolenko, Noble, Obiang, Felipe Anderson, Arnautovic|
|Subs:||Cresswell, Snodgrass, Adrián, C Sánchez, Ogbonna, Pérez, Antonio|
|Injured:||Reid, Wilshere, Lanzini, Carroll|
|Chelsea (4-3-3):||Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, David Luiz, Alonso, Kanté, Jorginho, Kovacic, Pedro, Giroud, E Hazard|
|Subs:||Drinkwater, Barkley, Caballero, Zappacosta, Willian, Christensen, Morata|
|Doubtful:||Emerson, Loftus-Cheek-Kovacic, Fàbregas|
So Far This Season
|West Ham This Season||Chelsea This Season|
|0 (1)||Wins (away)||3 (2)|
|3 – 1 v Everton||Biggest Win||4 – 1 v Cardiff|
|0 (0)||Draws (away)||0 (0)|
|0 – 4 v Liverpool||Biggest Defeat||—|
|Arnautovic (3)||Top Goal Scorer||Hazard (5)|
|Y18, R0||Discipline||Y4, R0|
|40%||Failures to Score||0|
|60%||Both Teams to Score Games||60%|
|80%||Over 2.5 Goals||80%|
|20%||Under 2.5 Goals||20%|
- West Ham finally got their first win, but they still top the discipline table. The Hammers have received 18 yellow cards, twice as many as second worst offenders Leicester.
- Chelsea are top on goal difference, with an impressive fourteen goals scored and just four conceded in five games.
- Despite the win, West Ham failed to keep a clean sheet. They have the second worst defence in the league, with eleven goals conceded so far.
- Chelsea failed to beat West Ham in the league last year, losing one and drawing the other. In the last five meetings, both teams have won twice, while the other game was a draw.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|08/04/2018||EPL||Chelsea 1 – 1 West Ham||Azpilicueta 36′|
|09/12/2017||EPL||West Ham 1 – 0 Chelsea||Arnautovic 6′|
|06/03/2017||EPL||West Ham 1 – 2 Chelsea||Hazard 25′|
|26/10/2016||League Cup||West Ham 2 – 1 Chelsea||Kouyaté 11′|
|15/08/2016||EPL||Chelsea 2 – 1 West Ham||Hazard 47′|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
As we said above, West Ham’s win was no fluke, and Pellegrini may have finally found an approach that works. If Arnautovic is passed fit to start, then the Hammers will give this one a proper go. It’s also worth noting that despite their defeats, the team didn’t play badly in those games. A slice of bad luck and of course defensive mishaps proved their downfall. If West Ham play defensively like they did in the last game, they will again be tough to beat.
But, Chelsea have a perfect record to maintain and in Eden Hazard, have the best player in the league right now. He is without doubt the danger man for West Ham, who must come armed with a plan to stop him. Many of the Chelsea lineup will likely have played some part in Greece on Thursday, so by stretching the game, West Ham may be able to exploit some heavy legs.
As you can see, this is a tough one to call, particularly because the Hammers have a good record against Chelsea. The Hammers may even nick a win, but, to be on the safe side, we’ll be going with both teams to score, which seems a great shout going by past results. If you want to up the value a bit further, Chelsea to win plus both teams to score or over 2.5 goals is another strong contender. You can get these bets at Blacktype.