West Ham host Chelsea in the English Premier League on Saturday in the early kickoff. David Moyes’ side sits just a point above the drop zone whilst the Blues languish down in ninth place, a full 10 points off the top four. The Hammers have lost just once in five home fixtures against Chelsea.
West Ham Form
It’s been a very tough season for the Hammers. Their first 19 league matches saw 12 defeats with seven of those by a single goal. A 2-0 home win against Bournemouth in October proved a false dawn as five successive defeats followed including home losses to Crystal Palace, Leicester, and Brentford.
Recent weeks have improved with one loss in six in all competitions and just one defeat in four in the league. They drew 2-2 at Leeds before losing 1-0 away to Wolves. A 2-0 home win against Everton lifted some pressure as Jarrod Bowen scored twice. Last time out, they drew 1-1 at Newcastle in a very strong defensive performance.
West Ham Team News
David Moyes will be without Kurt Zouma at centre-back and Max Cornet in the attack. Striker Gianluca Scamacca could be back amongst the subs after a knee injury. Thilo Kehrer went off at half-time against Newcastle with a tight hamstring so Ben Johnson could start on the right of the back three.
West Ham have reverted to a 3-4-3 of late. Lucas Paqueta is set to partner Declan Rice once again with Tomas Soucek on the bench. Danny Ings will once again have to make do with a place amongst the substitutes after his move from Southampton.
West Ham Motivation
In recent weeks, Moyes’ side have defended with a back five out of possession and been very compact without the ball. They only had 37% of the ball against Newcastle and could play like the away side in this one.
A draw would be a good result but Moyes will play to win from the start and have a plan to take three points.
Graham Potter’s side are in poor form. They went into the World Cup break with four successive defeats in domestic competitions and have won just two of their eight matches since the resumption. A 2-0 home win at Bournemouth preceded a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest.
Chelsea then lost three matches in a row: 1-0 to Man City in the league at home, 4-0 at City in the FA Cup, and 2-1 at Fulham with ten men. On a slightly positive note, Potter’s side are three unbeaten without conceding a goal. A 1-0 home win against Crystal Palace and a 0-0 draw at Liverpool. Chelsea could only drew 0-0 at home with Fulham in their last match.
Chelsea Team News
Chelsea’s injury crisis is improving. Reece James is fit again and so is Ben Chilwell. Wesley Fofana remains absent, as do N’Golo Kante and Denis Zakaria in midfield, with Mateo Kovacic a doubt. After a three-match ban, Joao Felix is available again and is set to start in the attack.
Raheem Sterling is pushing to be in the starting XI after his hamstring injury and could replace Hakim Ziyech down the right. Christian Pulisic and Armando Broja remain injured. Conor Gallagher could again partner record signing Enzo Fernandez in central midfield.
The Blues really need a win or their top-four hopes could become an even more distant objective. With three clean sheets in a row, Potter’s side are quite solid but will hope to play with more attacking thrust.
A draw would feel like a poor result and extend the side’s poor run of league results so Chelsea won’t settle for a point.
WHU have lost 1 of their last 5 home matches vs Chelsea (with 3 wins)
West Ham have the 5th best defensive record in the Premier League
West Ham have seen under 2.5 goals in 16 of their 21 EPL matches
Chelsea have won 1 of their last 7 matches in all competitions (L3, D3)
CFC have failed to score in 8 of their last 11 matches (all comps)
Chelsea are winless in 6 away PL matches (L3, D3)
This looks set to be a tight match. West Ham are very difficult to break down, as shown by their strong defensive record this season. Chelsea are barely scoring goals but have been solid defensively of late. A low-scoring match looks to be on the cards.
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals at 1.64
Value Bet: Draw at 3.25
Multiplier Leg: West Ham win/draw double chance + under 3.5 goals at 2.05