Preview: West Ham Vs Chelsea, The Blues visit the Hammers as business end of season comes thick and fast
WEST HAM VS CHELSEA
The dogfight for the final two Champions League spots is set to pit two London rivals this week with West Ham looking to continue their recent upsurge by derailing the Blues’ charge.
Barring their heartbreaking loss to Newcastle United last time around, West Ham have been in scintillating scoring form with 11 goals scored in their last 4 games but they have also conceded the same number in the past 5 matches. Their defence will have to pick up the pace considerably if they are to consolidate their European ambitions with a win this week.
Thomas Tuchel’s side come into game on the back of an insipid display against Brighton in midweek which will only stay in memory due to the offfield protests by the supporters in the wake of the club’s erstwhile presence in the European Super League. They will need to quickly move on from that as the chasing pack gets ever closer with 3rd to 7th only being separated by three points!
The London derby promises to be a feisty affair with so much on the line for both West Ham and Chelsea.
David Moyes’ men will be without Craig Dawson after he picked up two yellow cards against the Magpies with Fabian Balbuena looking the most likely replacement for him with Declan Rice continuing to be sidelined. Lukasz Fabianski will also be hoping for a much improved performance as he aims to rectify last week’s costly mistakes.
Predicted Line up: Fabianski; Diop, Ogbonna, Balbuena; Johnson, Soucek, Noble, Coufal; Lingard, Fornals; Bowen
His counterpart will be hoping that the Blues’ big name signings fire once again. With Ziyech and Havertz slowing settling into their grooves as well as Pulisic forcing his way into the manager’s plans, Tuchel has a lot of attacking talent to bank on. N’Golo Kante and Ben Chilwell did not play midweek and should make a return to the team for this crucial fixture.
Predicted Line up: Mendy; Christensen, Zouma, Rudiger; James, Kante, Mount, Chilwell; Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic
Pulisic tried to drive the Blues' attack as we battled Brighton's disciplined defence! 👀
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 21, 2021
For West Ham, Jesse Lingard’s prowess and confidence in front of goal has dominated their performances with the Englishman seemingly reborn at the London Stadium. With Jarrod Bowen being more than an able secondary unit and the imposing presence of Tomas Soucek in midfield also being a constant aerial threat, the Hammers will fear no one except maybe their own defence.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) April 22, 2021
Mason Mount has been the revelation in this Chelsea side and will be called upon once again to provide the attacking impetus while being ably supported by the supremely talented-yet-inconsistent Christian Pulisic. N’Golo Kante will be tasked with shutting everything down in midfield as Tuchel will be well aware of West Ham’s speed.
This will be a crunch clash and will go a long way in determining who ultimate ends up in the European places as the Premier League picks up pace. The London Stadium will play host to the most consequential London derby in recent years with a loss potentially devastating for each team’s fortunes. FootTheBall predicts a 2-2 draw between the two teams.