After a disappointing 4-2 loss to Arsenal in midweek, Chelsea’s position in the top four is starting to come under threat. While the lead is still comfortable and Chelsea have reason to be confident, there is no longer any room for complacency. Every match matters now and Chelsea must cut out the errors that proved costly against the Gunners if they are to finish the season in the Champions League positions. This starts with a tough fixture at home to West Ham.
The Hammers have gone from strength to strength under David Moyes and while some thought they may fall off this season, they currently sit seventh in the league and are a still a formidable outfit. This, coupled with Chelsea’s poor home form would suggest this could be a tough match for the Blues.
Thankfully, Chelsea have no new injuries to report. Antonio Rudiger and Mateo Kovacic both missed the last match and will also be out for this one, while Callum Hudson-Odoi is presumed to not be fit either. Ben Chilwell is still out with his ACL injury but is back in light training.
West Ham on the other hand, have some serious problems in defence to deal with. Issa Diop and Kurt Zouma are both unfit, along with Angello Ogbonna who is ruled out with a long term injury. This means that Craig Dawson is the Hammers only fit centreback and will likely be partnered by a makeshift option.
After such a poor showing against Arsenal, it’s important that Chelsea bounce back quickly in this game. Based on the team selection in the last match, it seemed Thomas Tuchel did not see it as a priority and it’s possible he viewed this match as a more likely three points due to fitness. Hopefully, things work out and Chelsea are able to pull further away from the chasing pack.
Ahead of the match, some of the writers at The Chelsea Social have made their score predictions.
Can the Blues get their revenge on West Ham?
Maria Dulce (@usernamedulce)
If playing an “off-form” Arsenal team was challenging for the Blues, Europa League semifinalists West Ham will likely set an (even more) complicated atmosphere for Chelsea at the Bridge.
Despite having a good campaign overall in the domestic competition now standing in 7th place, the Hammers should have one eye on next week’s clash with Frankfurt – which would mean a possible rotation of some key players. However, Tuchel’s side has repeatedly shown weaknesses in defense and the midfield, making David Moyes’ job easy even if his main squad is not on the pitch all at once. In the hope of guaranteeing a positive result though, some comebacks that must be seen are Thiago Silva in the back three, as well as Kai Havertz who should be paired with Timo Werner in attack from minute one.
A London derby at home has not been amongst the Blues’ best moments recently, and the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Antonio Rudiger being unavailable only raise preoccupations. Besides, it is unlikely that Tuchel and the players have solved all the problems from the loss to the Gunners in just a few days. Taking that into account, getting one point is a good result. For that reason, my prediction is Chelsea 2-2 West Ham.
Up the Chels!
Prediction: Chelsea 2-2 West Ham
West Ham at home, after our disappointing performance and result against Arsenal, will certainly be a tough watch. We were really poor against Arsenal in the defensive phase. We looked really loose in possession and vulnerable defensively. It’s sad to see. It doesn’t helpwith Rüdiger and Christensen leaving at the end of the season and the owner situation still yet to be finalised.
I look at West Ham’s team and performances over the season and you can see that they’re well set up. Organised. All their players know their roles really well. They’ve got a solid defensive core consisting of players like Soucek, Rice and Zouma. They play a counter attacking style and with the likes of Bowen and Antonio on the counter attack, they’ll certainly cause us problems.
Chilwell is still out as are Kovacic and Hudson-Odoi. Kante hasn’t been in great form. For us to win tomorrow, our players really will have to get stuck in and play with discipline and intensity. West Ham will be up for this, looking to exploit our downturn in form. I think this will be another tricky game where we’ll have to rely on James & Havertz’s attacking threat.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 West Ham
Rosy Cobb (@WeKnowWWA)
Chelsea welcome West Ham United, keen to eradicate the memory of their midweek capitulation against fellow Londoners Arsenal.
Thankfully for Chelsea, the Hammers are likely to already have one eye on their upcoming European semi-final with the chance of automatic qualification for the Champions League seemingly now out of their grasp. Romelu Lukaku’s reintroduction to the starting XI was unlikely to earn him a repeat opportunity and I would expect Kai Havertz to come back in and lead the line alongside Mason Mount and Timo Werner.
Recent shaky defensive performances have seen Thomas Tuchel rotating the three players who make up the back line, and with Antonio Rudiger and Andrea’s Christensen soon to be departing, and Malang Sarr remaining unconvincing, Trevor Chalobah could be in line for his chance alongside first-choice Thiago Silva. I would also think Jorginho is probably due a start too.
I can’t comprehend us being as bad as we were against Arsenal again, so I have to back a return to winning ways. I see Mount among the scorers and a 2-0 win for Chelsea and I’m hoping that we can drown out the travelling support, giving something for our depleted home crowd to cheer this time around.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 West Ham
Luka Foley (@UOGLuka)
The defeat to Arsenal in midweek was a really disappointing one. Despite Thomas Tuchel making some interesting changes to the team, the performance was not up to scratch and today’s game against West Ham is now a crucial one so we don’t start sliding perilously towards 4th with the threat of losing a Champions League spot.
Arsenal beating Man United yesterday has us cautiously looking over our shoulders and this West ham team will be up for today, as they hunt their own European place.
No Antonio Rudiger or Mateo Kovacic is a blow for us much like it was on Wednesday, but I’m expecting Tuchel to go back to a relatively full strength side with what he has at his disposal.
It is going to be a really tough game, but if the team show up, we can definitely get a win at this crucial stage of the season. I’m going with a 2-1 win, goals from Timo Werner and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 West Ham
Written by Chelsea Extra (@CFCExtra)
Edited by Luka Foley (@UOGLuka)
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