Date: Sunday 20th August 2023
Venue: London Stadium
Kick-off: 16:30 BST
Our first away fixture of the season takes us to the London Stadium to face West Ham this afternoon. We both started the season with a draw last weekend, us against Liverpool and the Hammers against Bournemouth, so both sides will want to get their first win of the campaign.
We could and probably should have won last weekend which probably surprised a few, given the ‘newness’ of our first XI, although technically, with 7 players out injured currently, it’s hard to know what our first XI is actually going to look like as the season plays out. For today though, we know it doesn’t include our new captain, with Reece James leaving the field early last week and subsequently ruled out for at least a few weeks with another hamstring injury. Disappointing but better news than it might have been.
We have, of course, added to last week’s numbers with Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia, who may or may not feature today. West Ham, on the other hand, are likely to give debuts to both Edson Alvarez and James Ward-Prowse.
There’s a good feel about Chelsea right now, our players are young, keen and they seem to have bags of belief in themselves. All of that is very welcome, and almost the opposite of last season’s Chelsea but they’ll be tested in the weeks and months ahead. This afternoon, they face a West Ham side who know where the net is at the London Stadium and have lost just 2 home games this calendar year – so that test might come sooner than we’d like.
Going into today’s game, West Ham manager, David Moyes, says “Chelsea have signed a lot of very talented players. Chelsea spent a lot of money last year as well, but it doesn’t always mean that spending money guarantees you success. They are entitled to work the way they do, and they have done their own thing for many, many years and have been incredibly successful. They’ve got so many players and a lot of talent in that team. A lot of boys are new, but they are good, up and coming players, so it won’t be easy against them. They played very well against Liverpool, and it will be interesting to see what team they put out this week.
We want everybody to come in on Sunday with the same spirit and levels as we had in Prague. We want to start the season well and I’m sure it will be a great atmosphere here against Chelsea. We want everybody behind the team, which will give us a greater chance of getting the result we want.”
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, says “It’s going to be tough. We know how they are going to play. They are beginning to change the shape but it’s always going to be tough. All of the Premier League games will be difficult. They are a very good team doing a great job. Last season, they lifted a trophy, so they are very confident. For sure, it’s going to be tough.”
For West Ham, Moyes has a fully fit squad and could give debuts to Edson Alvarez and James Ward-Prowse.
Wesley Fofana (knee) is a long-term absentee, Christopher Nkunku (knee) remains
out, along with Benoit Badiashile, Marcus Bettinelli, Trevoh Challobah and Armando
Broja (fitness). Reece James (hamstring) is also back on the injury list and
likely to be out for at least a few weeks.
WEST HAM (Possible line-up): Areola; Cofal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Alvarez, Ward-Prowse; Bowen, Paqueta, Benrahma; Antonio
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Sanchez; Disasi, Silva, Colwill; Gusto, Fernandez, Caicedo, Chilwell; Gallagher, Sterling; Jackson
WEST HAM: D
West Ham 1-1 Chelsea (11th February 2023)
- West Ham’s only win in their last six Premier League games against Chelsea was in December 2021.
- Chelsea are looking to avoid being without a win in their opening two fixtures of a Premier League season for the third time this century.
- West Ham have won four matches in all competitions against Chelsea at the London Stadium.
- Chelsea have won just five of their last 30 Premier League games.
- West Ham have lost their opening league game at home in four of the last five seasons.
- Chelsea have won their first away league game in six of the last seven seasons.
- West Ham have lost 11 of their last 16 London derbies in the league.
- Chelsea are aiming to avoid losing four successive top-flight London derbies for the first time since 1990
- Chelsea lost 10 away league games in the 2022-23 season.
Sportsmole: West Ham 1-2 Chelsea