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Match report

CHELSEA v West Ham: Preview

Date: Saturday 3rd September 2022

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 15:00 BST

Finally, the transfer window is closed, and we know what our squad looks like, at least until January, so maybe now the focus will be completely on matters on the pitch.

To state the obvious, we were bloody awful on Tuesday night. Southampton were unlucky not to come away from their game against United without at least a point, so it was more than apparent with our poor start to the season, they’d fancy themselves against us. As now appears to be the routine, we gave it a customary 20-minute effort before the cracks turned into bloody great crevices. In fact scrap that, it was a chasm, created largely by playing the wrong players, in the wrong positions (yes again!), and more bizarrely, players who’d quite clearly rather be anywhere else than Chelsea. That result leaves us 10th in the table with just 7 points from the last 15 available and it might get worse before it gets better given our last-minute dip into the market.

Today, we face West Ham who, after a poor start, have taken 4 points from games against Villa and Sp*rs and are starting to look as if they are getting their act together. So, like Southampton, they will also fancy their chances of a result against us. We won’t have 2 of our latest 3 signings available and Fofana is unlikely to be ready for the full 90 for us either, so the square pegs in round holes system is likely to persist.

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Thomas Tuchel, says “West Ham look very strong. They are what they are – they’re very physical, I have a feeling they’re a strong group with a good team spirit, they have a strong manager. They know what they are. They have periods where they can create huge moments within minutes and they have periods where they dig in and defend deep with a lot of discipline. They’re always ready to hurt you on counter-attacks with speed and physicality. Then come a lot of crosses, with Soucek arriving in the box for headers and of course set-pieces, where they are strong and physical. This is what they are. They struggled a little bit in getting results and maybe growing into the season. They also made some late signings which injected a lot of quality and personality into the group, so it will be a tough derby.

we need to step up. We have how many games to go in the Premier League. If we don’t get tough in the Premier League, then we will get punished all the way. This is not what we want, this is not what we are up to. We will show a reaction. It’s proven we can do it with this group. We need to find that spirit and we need to find the right spirit and attitude throughout all the matches. That includes me, my staff and the team. Like I said, we need to use the momentum because we know who is in the squad. From now on, we need to show a new face and a new toughness.”

West Ham manager David Moyes, meanwhile, says “Chelsea are always a big opponent for whoever plays them. They have some really fantastic players, they’re maybe a new club now with the changes they have had to make over the last two years.

It is great we are playing a Saturday, it is the tradition in this country. I think when you are given Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, that is slightly different.”

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, N’golo Kante (hamstring) remains out, whilst Reece James (illness), Trevoh Chalobah (knee) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (hamstring) are available again. Conor Gallagher returns from suspension. Of our newest signings, Wesley Fofana is available, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is out with a broken jaw and Denis Zakaria is not available for selection.

For West Ham, Ben Johnson (hamstring) is out, and Craig Dawson and Nayef Aguerd may also remain out. Aaron Cresswell (groin) and Gianluca Scamacca (virus) will face late tests, but Lucas Paqueta could make his full debut.

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Mendy; Fofana, Thiago Silva, Koulibaly, James, Gallagher, Kovacic, Cucurella; Sterling, Havertz, Broja

WEST HAM (Possible line-up): Fabianski; Coufal, Kehrer, Zouma, Palmieri; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals; Antonio

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 1-0 West Ham (24th April 2022)

CURRENT FORM (PL)

CHELSEA: WDLWL

WEST HAM: LLLWD

OTHER STUFF

  • Chelsea have lost one of the last 16 home meetings.
  • West Ham have won three of the last six games against Chelsea.
  • Chelsea have won only six of their last 16 Premier League home games.
  • Only in the 2015-16 campaign have Chelsea lost as many as three of their first six top-flight matches.
  • Only in 1994-95 have West Ham scored fewer than two goals in their opening five games of a Premier League season.

PREDICTION

Sportsmole: West Ham 2-2 Chelsea

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