This weekend may be dominated by Sunday’s ‘Manchester Derby’, but this weekend’s opening fixture could see Chelsea draw level with Manchester United in second place. David Moyes has yet to win a game with The Hammers, but he heads into this game after coming close to taking a point from Manchester City, a result that Chelsea would find hard to equal.
West Ham took the lead through Angelo Ogbonna and would have taken a point, were it not for a late David Silva winner, which even the best keepers would struggle to save. Diafra Sakho could have made it 2-2 in the dying stages, but he shot wide much to Moyes’ disappointment.
He said, “what a chance we have to make it 2-2 late on. My feeling was I thought we deserved it. You get results in different ways and it looked as though we might have got one today. For long parts of the game we were in with a chance. I have to say it was a really good effort. We defended much better today.” Moyes will be hoping they can reproduce that defensive stability if they hope to keep Chelsea at bay.
Chelsea come into this following a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in midweek. They Clinched top of the group, but despite having plenty of chances, most were outside the box and they failed to turn them into victory. The same defensive frailties appeared again, after they gifted Dwight Gayle the opener for Newcastle last weekend. Despite going on to win 3-1, Antonio Conte will be concerned that this has arisen twice in four days, and David Moyes will be hoping his side can capitalise on this.
Following last week’s Newcastle fixture, Conte said “I think our start wasn’t good enough. After going 1-0 down, we started to play with good intensity and good football. Our start was a bit slow. We did well after only two days’ rest. It was a solid performance despite the goal. We showed good motivation and good intensity. I made rotations in the game and the response of my players was positive. I think that today, to play and win after two days of rest means a lot. Newcastle had the advantage with one day more of rest.” After yet another midweek fixture and West Ham having had five days off, Conte will be hoping his side have learn’t from their game against The Magpies.
David Luiz remains out injured and lack-lustre performances from Davide Zappacosta and Tiemoué Bakayoko could see Cesar Azipulcueta and Pedro come into the side. West Ham are still without José Fonte, Andy Caroll and Javier Hernandez and unless their recovery changes, Moyes will be wondering where his goals are going to come from. West Ham have won only two of their last 22 Premier League matches against Chelsea and it is hard to see that changing at this moment in time. Don’t expect this to be straight forward though, Moyes will give this his best, hoping to gain his first three points with The Hammers.
Match Prediction: West Ham 1-2 Chelsea