Chelsea Match Preview
Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes both played a part in leading West Ham United to a rare double over Chelsea last season and Moyes will now be hoping to engineer another victory over the Blues, as the Irons head to Stamford Bridge tonight.
After the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace under the lights in Stratford on Wednesday night, it’s a second consecutive London derby for the Hammers who haven’t been defeated on the road since 31 October.
The East Londoners go into the game tenth in the Premier League table and although they could climb, providing they achieve a positive result, there is always the chance that the other outcome could also be on the cards and if they were to suffer defeat and Wolverhampton Wanderers triumphed over Burnley in tonight’s early game, then West Ham may well be on the slide.
There are reasons for the visitors to feel confident going into this encounter, as Chelsea have lost their last two matches together with the fact that the Irons have already recorded some notable results on their travels including a 3-0 triumph at Leicester City and a 2-1 victory at Elland Road.
Despite that, a benefit for Frank Lampard’s men could be that they’ve had one extra days preparation, given that they were last in action on Tuesday night.
Aaron Cresswell and Jarrod Bowen both suffered injuries in training before Wednesday’s match against the Eagles but both were fit enough to take part in the encounter so they will be in line to retain their places.
Fabián Balbuena didn’t feature five days ago due to a groin strain and will have to be assessed. However, if the Paraguayan misses out again, then Issa Diop will deputise once more.
Manuel Lanzini certainly made an impact after coming off the bench in midweek and he may be handed a chance to impress here.
Michail Antonio signed a contract extension until the summer of 2023 on Friday night but he is unlikely to play any part in this game, as he still continues to recover after injuring his hamstring in October.
Tonight’s match is an 8pm kick-off and live coverage is being screened by Sky Sports from 7:45pm. The referee is Christopher Kavanagh.