Premier League action returns this weekend for the Blues as they host the Hammers at Stamford Bridge who are currently at a low 17th place. Chelsea are coming off a defeat at the Etihad where they lost 2-1 to the current league champions, Manchester City, but without putting in a valiant effort. The Blues are also looking to bounce back and get back to winning ways to keep their top four status. On the other side with the roster that West Ham currently have, their supporters would’ve hoped to be in a better position than where they currently stand and have been poor so far coming into this game.
West Ham aren’t in a bright place currently only having 16 goals so far and conceding 23 in the Premier League while sitting only one position above the relegation zone with 13 points. Their leading scorer is their new striker acquisition, Sébastien Haller with 4 goals and Andriy Yarmolenko with 3. They haven’t won in the league since their game against Manchester United back in late September, only picking up a point in their last six games.
Manuel Pellegrini likes to use a 4-1-4-1 formation and have Declan Rice as a holding midfielder while having Mark Noble and Robert Snodgrass slightly ahead. The wingers would align with the two midfielders to create a mid-block of 4 while having Haller leading the line. Jose Mourinho’s Spurs managed to hold off West Ham and defeat the Hammers in a 3-2 victory. They managed to isolate Declan Rice and get behind Noble and Snodgrass having Moura and Son out number Rice. This caused trouble for the Hammers as many chances were created by Spurs.
Chelsea won’t also have to worry about Jack Wilshere or Lanzini who are good technical players who are still out with injury. Roberto Jiménez, the Spanish back up goalkeeper has been shaky for West Ham with Fabianski being out with injury as well so Chelsea should look to challenge him as much as they can. Chelsea themselves are still sitting comfortably in the top four despite losing to City with 26 points and 7 points above Wolverhampton Wanderers. Despite this, this game will be a huge test for the young side and should go into this game hungry and vibrant to disrupt West Ham midfield block. They will most likely look to press Chelsea as well with Haller and the two wingers to disrupt the backline from playing out from the back. Jorginho and Kovačic will need to be on their game to break that first line of defence which they are very capable of with their profound technical skills. Pulisic will also be coming into this game red hot in form and should continue to get into attacking areas with his off the ball movements. His movement should cause West Ham trouble as their backline have been susceptible of falling asleep at times which happened last week against Spurs.
Chelsea will have to put on a strong performance defensively as West Ham still have talented players who can get into dangerous areas with the likes of Michael Antonio and Sébastien Haller. They also have dynamic wingers in Felipe Anderson that can still attack full backs and create chances despite being subpar this season compared from last. The Hammers are a physical side and will more than likely to show it against the Chelsea like many other teams. Set piece defending will need to be sharp as well as the Hammers have towering figures that can easily win aerial battles. The Chelsea centre backs will need to be alert and fight Haller’s hold up play and try to disrupt his presence. The Blues should look at their brave performance at the Etihad and take the positives from that game and continue their strong midfield build up but will have to be clinical to make sure West Ham stay grounded and disciplined.
Tammy Abraham, who was injured midweek against Valencia isn’t available, while Rudiger is back in training but won’t be ready to feature. There was no update on the availability of Hudson-Odoi but he is back in training after a hamstring strain.
Saturday 30th November
Chelsea vs West Ham
Kick off: 15:00 UK time