West Ham vs Chelsea: match preview
Monday night plays host to the first Premier League encounter between West Ham and Chelsea at the infamous new London Stadium, as the Blues seek to take another step towards the Premier League title.
West Ham have seemingly escaped the fervent rat race of the relegation zone, putting together a string of respectable results over the past few months – even after the acrimonious departure of Dimitri Payet.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have been nothing short of immaculate this season, going on a nine-game unbeaten streak since losing their prior 13 game winning streak to Tottenham in January. West Ham can, however, count on the fact that they beat Antonio Conte’s albeit understrength Chelsea side 2-1 in the EFL Cup this season, in what’s to date possibly their highest profile victory at the new stadium.
Chelsea are once again able to pick from a fully fit squad, a staple of their impressive rise to the summit of the league table. While Diafra Sakho has returned to training, while Andy Carroll – who has a good goal scoring record against the Blues could also feature. Former Real Madrid defender, Alvaro Arbeloa is a doubt for the game. Angelo Ogbonna, Gokhan Tore and Doneil Henry remain out for the season, and Michail Antonio is also suspended having picked up a second yellow card against Watford last weekend.
West Ham’s threats aren’t plain to see, as players seem to dip in and out of form, but creative outlets such as Manuel Lanzini and Sofiane Feghouli will always cause problems, and Andre Ayew (a prolific finisher in his own right) will remember fondly scoring his first ever Premier League goal against Chelsea last season.