In his two spells as West Ham United manager, David Moyes is yet to lose a home game against Chelsea.
The Scotsman suffered his first defeat in charge of the Hammers against a team in the bottom-half of the Premier League table with the 3-2 loss to Newcastle United last weekend and he will be desperate to get back on the winning trail but Thomas Tuchel’s men stand in his way, as they arrive in Stratford for a Saturday evening kick-off.
Opposition supporters never knew what they were going to get when Chelsea were under the stewardship of Frank Lampard but they appear to be a different proposition under their new Head-Coach so the Irons will need to be on top form to avoid back-to-back defeats for only the second time this season.
Lampard was in the home hotseat when the two teams met at Stamford Bridge back in December as the hosts won 3-0. Should Tuchel continue his good record since replacing the former West Ham midfielder in January, they will become only the fourth side to have done the double over the East Londoners in what has been a pretty impressive campaign.
The Hammers have already recorded two victories in April and Moyes will be looking to end the month with a crucial three points against a top-four rival in a London derby.
Chelsea’s home goalless draw with Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday night meant that the East Londoners have dropped to fifth place on goal difference ahead of this game. Moyes will certainly be hoping that he can claim a third consecutive home victory against the Blues in order to help the Irons bounce back up to the UEFA Champions League places.
The hosts will be the fresher of the two sides having had a full week in training and they might just be hoping that Tuchel’s men have one eye on their upcoming UEFA Champions League first-leg match against Real Madrid to come just three days later.
Craig Dawson picked up the first ever red card of his career at St James’ Park meaning Fabián Balbuena may partner Angelo Ogbonna if Moyes decides to drop Issa Diop to the bench, following his calamitous own goal against Steve Bruce’s men.
Jesse Lingard appeared to go down injured towards the end of last Saturday’s encounter but Moyes confirmed afterwards that it was only cramp and that he would be fit to retain his place. Manuel Lanzini will be pushing for a start after coming on in the closing stages of the match on Tyneside.
Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku have been back in training this week and a late decision will be made on whether the pair will be involved in the matchday squad for this encounter, while goalkeeper Darren Randolph was in action in the Development Squad’s win over Everton on Monday and could be back on the bench here.
Saturday’s match is a 5:30pm kick-off and for the seventh consecutive game, live coverage will be screened by Sky Sports with build-up beginning at 5pm. The referee is Christopher Kavanagh.