PREMIER LEAGUE

West Ham vs Chelsea preview

All the latest news and information as Chelsea travel to East London to face a West Ham United side desperate for points in their battle against relegation.

West Ham vs Chelsea preview
PAUL CHILDS AFP

West Ham United Predicted XI vs Chelsea

Fabianski; Fredericks, Ogbonna, Diop, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Noble, Anderson; Antonio

Chelsea Predicted XI vs West Ham United

Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Alonso; Barkley, Kante, Kovacic; Willian, Giroud, Pulisic

West Ham United vs Chelsea Preview

The Premier League restart has not gone to plan for the Hammers and they are currently hovering above the relegation zone on goal difference. Their two matches in June resulted in two 2-0 defeats, with David Moyes’ men mustering a total of three shots on target across both fixtures. Their goal-shy performances have not been helped by the absence of club-record signing Sebastien Haller up front. Without the 6ft3 Frenchman Moyes has been using the experienced Michael Antonio as an auxiliary striker, not trusting the likes of Albian Ajeti or Xande Silva to fulfil the lone striker’s role.

West Ham are currently on the worst run of form in the Premier League and have won just one game in their last ten. They are only clear of the relegation places because of the poor form of their rivals and there are currently four clubs within a point of each other at the bottom of the table. However West Ham have the easiest run-in of any of the strugglers and after playing Chelsea they only face one more top-half side, Manchester United.

At the other end of the table Chelsea have been in great form, winning their last five in all competitions. Last weekend’s win over Leicester City sees them through to the FA Cup semi-final and with the Foxes struggling in the league Frank Lampard’s men look set to secure Champions league qualification in his first season in charge.

Lampard returns to his boyhood club as Chelsea manager with a number of selection decisions to make having rotated his squad extensively in the opening three games. He made six changes to his starting XI for Sunday’s victory but was forced to make a half-time triple substitution after performances that were “not good enough for the Chelsea badge”. With that in mind it is likely that Cesar Azpilicueta, Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic will be given starts having impressed on the weekend.

West Ham United vs Chelsea: Injuries and Suspensions

David Moyes is still missing two of his most important attacking threats with Sebastien Haller (hip injury) and Robert Snodgrass (back injury) yet to return to full fitness. However he was able to include Andriy Yarmolenko on the substitute’s bench against Tottenham Hotspur and the Ukrainian winger may be pushing for a starting berth with Moyes’ options limited.

Wing-back Arthur Masuaka may also be fit to return after recovering from an ankle injury, but will need a late fitness test.

The main fitness concern for the visitors will be that of Christian Pulisic who has impressed with goals in wins against Manchester City and Aston Villa since the restart. The American was substituted on Sunday due to tightness in the calf and maybe rested for this one. Potential replacement Calum Hudson-Odoi could be back on the bench having recovered from an ankle injury.

Central defenders Andreas Christensen (hip injury) and Fikayo Tomori (muscular injury) are believed to be close to a return but this game may come too soon for them, with Antonio Rudiger and Kurt Zouma likely to keep their places in the heart of the Chelsea defence.

West Ham United vs Chelsea: What the managers said

David Moyes (West Ham United): “We’re lacking goals, but we’re short with what options we’ve got to make that happen.

“We want to build a new young team, so we’re trying to get people like Jarrod Bowen, Tomas Soucek, one or two others if we can, and improve on what we’ve got.”

Frank Lampard (Chelsea): “We will certainly have to think about if we need to rotate a bit to keep freshness in the players.

‘It’s nice I can call upon players, particularly in certain areas of the pitch. We are not overloaded in every area, and that’s where we will address it at the end of the season, but in terms of what’s in front of us now, we will need that quality we have.”

Prediction: West Ham have not shown anything in their last two outings that suggests that they can overturn an impressive-looking Chelsea side but the Hammers will have had eight days to prepare for this fixture, compared to Chelsea’s three. With fitness a concern for all teams at the moment Moyes will be hoping that his side can outrun their opposition and cause an upset. Chelsea may need to rely on fresh legs from the bench but should have enough to inflict a third straight defeat on West Ham. 1-2