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CHELSEA v West Ham: Preview

Date: Monday 21st December 2020

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 20:00 GMT

Our last game before Christmas sees us taking on West Ham at Stamford Bridge.

Despite a 17-game unbeaten run, losing our last 2 has left a bah humbug feel around Chelsea ahead of the festive season and I suspect the nappy liners are already being patched together for the predictable ‘Lampard Out’ banners.

We’ve been leap-frogged by half a dozen sides in the league, (although most won’t have the Champions League to be distracting them) and new signings are carrying the weight of that particular can. I remember Michael Ballack saying how hard it was to move from the Bundesliga to the pace and physicality of Premier League football. I also remember his impact once he’d done it but memories are as short as tempers at Chelsea these days.

On to West Ham, and they’ve had just one defeat in their last six games and did the double over us last season. This season, we’re separated by just one point and one place in the Premier League, and it doesn’t get much tighter than that.

Bit too close to call really.

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, says “I think he’s [Moyes] doing a great job. They have good players, but the way they’re playing and the consistency they’ve got, the levels they’ve got to this season, have been really impressive. They’ve got an experienced, very good manager, who’s obviously got his message across to them and they’re playing really well. The organisation of their team, the style they play, is difficult to play against. They have threats on the counter-attack, they’re very good at set-pieces. So they’re just playing very well.”

West Ham manager David Moyes meanwhile, says “They [Chelsea] have got a lot of young players, they are trying to get them right back to where we are used to seeing them, winning the league and in cup finals. I think Frank [Lampard] is doing a really good job.  He’s got some really exciting young footballers who are going to have long and prosperous careers.

He [Lampard] is at a big club, big expectations and you are expected to win all your games. The media do as well and they hunt you when you don’t win. I think the big thing with Chelsea is they have a good group of young players, English too, lots of internationals and the media are always keen on backing those players, that’s good to see.  They have always had a good academy over the years. Frank has done a good job but with big jobs comes pressure. People are very quick to talk about you.”

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, the good news is Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech (both hamstring) will face late fitness tests, the bad news is Reece James will be rested for a few games after concerns over a knee injury.

For West Ham, Arthur Masuaku is out following knee surgery and Michail Antonio and Fabian Balbuena face tests.

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Kovacic, Kante, Mount; Pulisic, Giroud, Werner

WEST HAM (Possible line-up): Fabianski; Coufal, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals; Haller.

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 0-1 West Ham (30th November 2019)

CURRENT FORM (PL)

CHELSEA: WWDWLL

WEST HAM: WWWLWD

OTHER STUFF

  • Chelsea have lost just one of their last 14 Premier League home games against West Ham
  • Chelsea lost this fixture last season (0-1).
  • West Ham won home and away against Chelsea in the Premier League last season,
  • Chelsea have lost their final league match before Christmas in two of their last 30 seasons.
  • West Ham’s final league match before Christmas last season was a 1-0 win over Southampton.
  • Chelsea have lost their last two Premier League games
  • West Ham have won their last two Premier League away games

PREDICTION

Sky Sports: Chelsea 2-0 West Ham

90mins: Chelsea 2-1 West Ham

Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-1 West Ham

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