Chelsea are back in Premier League action on Saturday afternoon, as they make the trip across London to visit West Ham. David Moyes’ side have struggled for points all season, which has left them stuck in the bottom three as we edge towards Christmas. While there’s plenty of talent and experience in this West Ham side, you have to question their work ethic, which is something they need to have if they’re going to survive a relegation scrap. The Blues should be confident of claiming three points, given how David Moyes struggled with Sunderland last season, and he’s threatening to take his new side in a similar direction.
Having wrapped up their Champions League campaign, Chelsea are focusing on securing a top four finish in the Premier League this time around. Manchester City are running away with things, and the main aim for Antonio Conte’s side is making it into next season’s European Cup. There is a slight chance for the champions to get back into the title race, with the two Manchester clubs meeting this weekend and with a kind December fixture list. However, first up they need to claim all three points when they visit the struggling Hammers to have any chance of pushing the leaders later in the season.
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We can see this being the type of game that would suit Conte’s 3-4-3 approach, as the Italian has plenty of creativity to play in the supporting roles behind Alvaro Morata. Both Willian and Pedro should be pushing for a start in the side ahead of this weekend’s game, while Eden Hazard is in wonderful form of late. That strength is something which the manager needs to take advantage of, especially against an incredibly leaky West Ham defence. Other than that, we struggle to see any major changes for the champions, although the centre-halves could be switched around once again.
West Ham used a 3-5-1-1 system in their defeat at Manchester City, but they did that without a recognised frontman. They looked to pile bodies into the middle of the park for that game, which is a tactic that seemed to work against City. However, with Chelsea playing with two roaming players in advanced positions, the Hammers need a bit of a rethink here. A three-man defence is the standard way to play against the Blues these days, but further up the pitch Moyes needs to make changes if he’s to lift spirits at the London Stadium.
West Ham Form
West Ham come into this weekend’s game after a dreadful run in the Premier League, which led to the sacking of Slaven Bilic. However, the hammers haven’t been able to arrest their slump under new manager Moyes, which is a worrying sign at this point in the campaign. They’re second from bottom as things stand, without a win in eight league matches, but can that change here?
The Hammers have two home league wins this season, which both came against sides in the bottom six in the league, including basement club Swansea. Their other matches haven’t quite gone so well, and they’ve lost every meeting with the top six so far. Based on how the Blues have been faring in the league of late, it’s hard to see things changing for Moyes and his men here.
West Ham v Chelsea Head to Head
The Blues made two visits to the Olympic Stadium during its inaugural campaign, claiming three points in the league here in October. The Blues were knocked out of the EFL Cup at this ground last season, but that came against an experimental Chelsea team. With Conte set to go with the big guns here, given how poor the visitors are at the back, we can see yet another high scoring encounter between these two teams.
- West Ham 1-2 Chelsea, Mar 2017
- West Ham 2-1 Chelsea, Oct 2016
- Chelsea 2-1 West Ham, Aug 2016
- Chelsea 2-2 West Ham, Mar 2016
- West Ham 2-1 Chelsea, Oct 2015
- Chelsea and over 2.5 goals – 11/8 with Betfred
- Eden Hazard to score any time – 7/5 with Betfair
Chelsea come in to this one priced at 1/2 with Coral for all three points, with the Hammers still searching for a win under former Everton boss Moyes. They aren’t fancied to end that wait this weekend, as the hosts can be backed at 13/2 with BetVictor to claim a home win. The draw is priced at 3/1 with Coral here, but recent years haven’t seen too many stalemates between these two, and we can’t see them finishing level here. The Blues are priced around where they should be given how poor the Hammers have looked this season, but we’re looking at slightly bigger prices for our bets on Saturday’s early kick-off.
West Ham have tended to see high scoring games this season, especially in their defeats. The hosts have lost nine of their 15 league games this term, with almost all of those seeing over 2.5 goals scored. Their only defeat to see fewer than three goals was a dismal 2-0 loss at Watford in Moyes’ opening game after taking charge. Since then, normal service has been resumed with 4-0 and 2-1 defeats to Everton and Man City respectively. This isn’t a new problem for the Hammers – 14 of their 17 defeats last season saw over 2.5 goals, which is why we’re backing the same again here at 11/8 with Betfred.
We can see at least one of the goals coming from the in-form Hazard, who hit another two against Newcastle last week. He has three goals in five league meetings with West Ham, including two in his last three away meetings with the Hammers. We think it’s worth backing him to score any time at 7/5 with Betfair here.