Date: Saturday 11th February 2023
Venue: London Stadium
Kick-off: 12:30 GMT
Today’s early kick-off sees us face West Ham at the London Stadium.
West Ham have found better form since the start of the year, winning three and drawing two of their opening six games and they come into today’s game after taking a point off a good Newcastle side last time out. We also come into the game off the back of a draw but ours was less celebratory because for us, it was a frustrating one against Fulham. West Ham, in 17th, have lost four of our last five meetings but the win came in this fixture last season and we fare less well away to them, with two wins from eight visits. Chelsea currently sit in 9th, with just two wins from the last 12 Premier League games and without a win from the last seven away from home. Hardly surprising since you have to score to win and we couldn’t buy a goal most of the time.
West Ham felt hard done by in the reverse fixture in the summer and will no doubt have held onto that as motivation to keep them out of the relegation zone this weekend. We could do with our defence turning in another clean sheet here today, although that seems unlikely given our usual games against West Ham. There have been seven winning goals scored in the final five minutes of Premier League meetings between us – and I can’t see us getting the sort of favour we got in September.
Going into today’s game, West Ham manager David Moyes, says “I think when you spend £600million, it should give you half a chance. But money isn’t the only thing to do with football, you’ve got to get the team right, you’ve got to get other parts of it going well. Hopefully, we can give Chelsea a good game, obviously they are a really good team, they’ve got some really talented players they’ve bought in, but they will need time to gel just like the ones we bought in in the summer have taken a bit of time to gel as well.
I believe we can have a good season. We have still got a lot to play for. I think we’re showing a little bit better signs in some areas but we’re going to be challenged by good teams like Chelsea, we’re going to be challenged in the European competition, which we’re going into again in March, and we’re in the next round of the FA Cup. We want to try and keep ourselves involved in as many tournaments as we can. But our focus is solely on the Chelsea game and trying to do the best we can against Chelsea.”
Chelsea manager Graham Potter, meanwhile, says “Going away from home in the Premier League is not straightforward everybody knows that. It’s something (our away form) we’re trying to address, we have to start against West Ham of course. I’ve been there with Brighton and had a decent record there but it’s a totally different context (going to West Ham with Chelsea), different situation.
It’s a London derby – there’s no love lost between the teams – so it’s a good atmosphere to test ourselves in. They’re always tough games. David Moyes’ sides are always competitive, organised, they have good players and are strong at set-pieces. So for us, it’s about understanding it’s a London derby and matching their intensity.”
For West Ham, Maxwel Cornet (calf) and Kurt Zouma (thigh) are out, Thilo Kehrer and Alphonse Areola (both hamstring) are doubts, whilst Gianluca Scamacca (knee) is back in training but today may be too soon for him.
For Chelsea, N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Edouard Mendy (finger), Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja (both knee) all remain out and are joined by Raheem Sterling (knee) who’s injured again. Wesley Fofana (knee), Denis Zakaria (thigh) and Mateo Kovacic (calf) aren’t expected to feature, although Joao Felix is available again after his three-match ban.
WEST HAM (Possible line-up): Fabianski; Johnson, Ogbonna, Aguerd; Coufal, Rice, Paqueta, Emerson; Benrahma, Bowen; Antonio
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Arrizabalaga; James, Thiago Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella; Gallagher, Fernandez, Mount; Madueke, Felix, Mudryk
West Ham 3-2 Chelsea (4th December 2021)
WEST HAM: LLDLWD
- West Ham have lost four of the past five league meetings.
- West Ham won this fixture last season.
- West Ham have lost five of their 10 home league games in 2022-23.
- Chelsea have gone seven successive away games without a win in all competitions.
- West Ham have taken four points from their last two games.
- Chelsea have only managed nine goals in their 11 top-flight away games this season.
- West Ham have lost eight of their 10 most recent Premier League London derbies.
- Chelsea can go three league games in a row without scoring for the first time since a run of four in September 2007.
Sportsmole: West Ham 1-1 Chelsea