Chelsea vs West Ham UnitedEnglish Premier League, KO: 20:00 Apr 8, 2019, Stamford Bridge
CHELSEA have not suffered a home Premier League defeat on a Monday since 1994 and will be aiming to keep that record intact when they host West Ham on tonight.
More importantly, Maurizio Sarri will be hoping his side can continue their recent revival and maintain their challenge for a top-four finish.
Following a 2-0 defeat at Everton prior to the international break the Blues have bounced back well with two victories against Cardiff and Brighton respectively.
In fact, the 3-0 success against Brighton last midweek was one of Chelsea’s most impressive showings in some time and one they will be looking to replicate during this London derby.
On the flip side of that West Ham head for West London on the back of a truly woeful display against Everton last weekend. The Hammers lie 11th in the Premier League and looked like a team who were on the beach during their dreadful display at home to the Toffees.
Club captain Mark Noble was an unused substitute during that defeat but should be restored to the starting XI at Stamford Bridge. In doing so the Hammers skipper should inject some fighting spirit and tenacity to his side's display that was evidently lacking in his absence. With this is mind in back Noble to be carded at 13/5 (Paddy Power).
During his midfield battle on Monday night Noble could be up against Chelsea holding midfielder Jorginho. The Chelsea ace may also may worth backing to find his way into the referee's book having done so on no fewer than seven occasions this season. Given his ill-discipline to date the Italian looks generously priced to be carded at 11/2 (bet365)
Like Pellegrini, Sarri may also make changes to his starting XI with this fixture being the first of three in a frantic six days for his side. Talisman Eden Hazard is one player who should almost certainly start for Chelsea after he delivered another typically majestic performance against Brighton. The brilliant Belgian scored one and assisted another against the Seagulls and can be backed to find the net again on Monday night at 19/20 (Unibet).
Despite a troubled maiden season for manager Sarri no side has conceded fewer home goals than his in the Premier League this season. The Blues defence has only been breached 10 times at the Bridge and and that defensive solidity at home has been crucial in safeguarding Chelsea’s top-four challenge.
Although Sarri’s men have been defensively stable on home soil I envisage the visitors having some success in front of goal. West Ham can’t be any worse than they were at home to Everton and are set to welcome back influential record signing Felipe Anderson.
Chelsea play an open style of football and I foresee the Hammers benefiting from that by creating opportunities. With Anderson back in the line-up as well as the likes of Lanzini, Nasri and Hernandez at Pellegrini's disposal back both teams to score at 10/11 (bet365).
Even if the East Londoners find the net in this derby Chelsea should still prevail with all three points. A third league win on the spin for Chelsea will not dispose of the pressure Sarri is enduring, however it will add to his side's momentum ahead their tricky trips to Prague and Liverpool later on in the week.
This English Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United will be played on Apr 8, 2019 and kick off at 20:00