PRICE BOOSTS MAX BET £10
This game is crucial in the race for the top four with the two sides locked on 55 points, having played the same number of matches, with Chelsea’s superior goal difference seeing them occupy fourth at present.
Tottenham and Liverpool are only two points adrift, with the former having played an extra fixture, as the battle for the final Champions League place looks set to get down to the wire.
Chelsea have stuttered with just one win in four league appearances, despite not encountering any of the big guns, as it would appear the League Cup and Champions League have proven a slight distraction.
However, they have delivered when it matters under Thomas Tuchel. Up against the best sides they’ve faced – Atletico, Porto, Tottenham, Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City – the Blues are a highly impressive W6-D1-L1, while even the sole defeat came in their second leg with the Portuguese outfit as they conceded late on with the tie effectively over by that stage.
The most notable aspect of these encounters has been the low-scoring nature, with each of the eight matches featuring fewer than three goals and six seeing just one strike or less.
Chelsea in fact conceded just once themselves, but a misfiring forward line has rarely threatened to rip teams apart. In total, there have been a maximum of two goals in a massive 17 of 20 games under new management, as half of these games featured a solitary goal or none at all.
There’s been just three goals in their past three outings, though it’s been a very different story for the Hammers.
David Moyes’ team have entertained with a minimum of five goals in each of their past four matches, though we wouldn’t expect that trend to continue here given Chelsea’s results under Tuchel so far.
Chelsea To Beat West Ham
West Ham are W3-D1-L3 over their last seven fixtures, losing to Newcastle last time out, as well as suffering defeats to the Manchester duo.
Their other defeats in 2021 have come against Liverpool and Man Utd in extra time in the FA Cup, so they can come unstuck against teams of high quality.
Mateo Kovacic is the only confirmed absentee for Chelsea, while Thiago Silva is likely to be rested with the Champions League in mind. However, the Hammers have significant problems and that certainly makes it easier to get behind the visitors.
Craig Dawson has been an influential figure at the heart of their defence and is suspended following his early bath against Newcastle, while at left back there’s a problem with both Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku doubts.
More damagingly, striker Michail Antonio’s season looks over and midfielder Declan Rice isn’t fit for action yet, as the latter’s partnership with Tomas Soucek has been pivotal to the side’s success this term.