A pivotal London derby will wrap-up a busy day of Premier League action on Wednesday as Chelsea do battle with West Ham live from London Stadium.
For the Blues of Chelsea, this represents another opportunity for them to take a further hold on a contentious Champions League spot. With only the top-4 squads qualifying for the prestigious tournament, the pressure is firmly on Frank Lampard’s men to see the job out. With high-priced talent coming in next year, the expectation is they’ll be playing Champions League soccer, and Chelsea need results to ensure that occurs.
Meanwhile, it is a very different tale for West Ham United. The East-London club has struggled of late, especially true since the restart. David Moyes has pushed many buttons, though none have seemed to work of late. There is currently no breathing room between the Hammers and the bottom-three sides, with only goal-difference keeping West Ham up at the moment. They’ve managed just one win since New Year’s Day, and desperately need a change in quality.
With all that is on the line in this contest, it should produce a fascinating encounter between these London-based rivals. Keep reading beneath the posted odds for more team news, a match preview, and a betting prediction as the Blues battle the Hammers in EPL action.
Chelsea vs. West Ham Betting Odds:
West Ham (+463)
Over 2.5 (-135)
Under 2.5 (+115)
Chelsea -1 (-118)
West Ham +1 (-102)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Chelsea vs. West Ham Pick:
Chelsea enter this contest riding a real wave of momentum and currently are in excellent form. They won their last outing against Manchester City, and were equally stellar in a tightly contested battle against Leicester City in the FA Cup this past weekend. Frank Lampard finally has had an extended run of his full allotment of talent, and it’s clear – the Blues are an emerging threat.
This week, they might have to find success without star player Christian Pulisic. The American was battling some calf tightness since the match with Leicester, and it’s unlikely Lampard pushes him too hard to return.
Instead, expect Callum Hudson-Odoi to return to the lineup and definitely replace Pulisic’s pace and creative ability. It is also believed that Ross Barkley has done enough to earn a starting spot in the midfield. Along with N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic, that trio should be relentless with ball pursuit and distributing telling balls up top to Chelsea’s prolific finishers. Look for the Blues to go with Olivier Giroud and Willian at striker, with the rangy Tammy Abraham an enticing option from the bench. Chelsea’s wave of speed and scoring is likely going to be too much for West Ham.
West Ham meanwhile continue to battle some key injuries of their own. Robert Snodgrass remains out, while star forward Sebastien Haller is a major doubt to feature vs. Chelsea. West Ham have had issues keeping goals out, and generating consistent chances – obviously not a good mix with a skilled squad like Chelsea raring to go.
Expect Chelsea to pick up where they left off last week against Manchester City. The Blues executed their game-plan perfectly, showing they’re a squad playing cohesively and for manager Frank Lampard.
Look for the coach to announce a starting eleven that is skilled and speedy, and one that should overwhelm the Hammers’ defense, particularly with solid midfield play and lethal finishing. West Ham will likely sit back and try to strike on the counter, though the pace of Abraham, Willian, Mount, Barkley, Kante should all help to break them down. In the centre of the pitch, the prolific Olivier Giroud will be ready to pounce – either through the air, or with the ball at his feet.
Chelsea are one of the premier sides in Europe right now, and should be able to stake further claim to their Champions League spot. Expect a thoroughly overmatched West Ham group, as they sag deeper into the relegation zone. A comfortable Chelsea victory is all I can see here.
Pick: Chelsea 3-1