London derby between Chelsea and West Ham an entertaining end to the weekend
Chelsea to win 1-0
Chelsea will have the bit between their teeth as they go in search of their first win in three matches.
After surging into the top four off the back of an excellent run of form, including four wins from five in the league and staying unbeaten across 17 matches in all competitions.
Back-to-back defeats have followed, however, losing to both Everton and Wolves in the space of a few days to derail their push for the top of the table.
Manager Frank Lampard is unconcerned, considering how much of the season is left to play, but they will want to get back on the winning trail before long.
West Ham are enjoying a good spell of form right now, the defeat to Manchester United a few weeks ago their solitary loss out of their last six matches.
London derby matches always have an intrigue about them, and this should be no different.
Form Guide (all comps): WWDLL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Can still move into top four despite defeats
Will want to return to the top after briefly sitting there on December 5th
Reasons to be fearful:
Defeats against tougher opposition show more work is needed
West Ham are in fine form
Even though Chelsea have slipped all the way down to 8th following their two defeats, they know what life is like at the top having previously topped the table after beating Leeds at the start of the month.
With the Premier League being so tight this season, just two defeats have seen them slip all the way down to 8th, below the likes of the two Manchester clubs.
With more tough fixtures to come, including City, Arsenal and of course this one, Frank Lampard will be keen to return to winning ways as quickly as possible.
Lampard may be tempted to make a couple of changes for this one, with questions starting to be asked of the likes of Werner and Havertz of late, and Ziyech could make a welcome return from injury to provide quality on the right.
Star Man – Olivier Giroud
Is the one Chelsea player performing with any consistency right now, scoring as frequently as he ever has.
Form Guide (all comps): WWLWD
Reasons to be cheerful
Terrific run of form has taken them close to top four
Michail Antonio signing a new contract is a boost
Reasons to be fearful
Chelsea are desperate to bounce back with victory
Lost last match against a top team in Manchester United
West Ham have gone from strength to strength under David Moyes this season, consistently putting in great performances and earning good results to match.
Of the last six matches, they have only lost the once to Manchester United, and even then, The Hammers took the lead and should have scored more.
They’ll be wary of a significant response from Chelsea, with the Blues having lost back to back fixtures for the first time this season. But West Ham know they’re a class act and should have the firepower to cause problems.
Michail Antonio has not featured in almost a month, but has a chance of being available for this one. He comes into this fixture on the back of a signing a new long-term deal with the Hammers, a boost for him and his club.
Star Man – Sebastien Haller
Scored a tremendous overhead kick in the draw at Crystal Palace – he is their topscorer this season with seven.
Should be an entertaining fixture with plenty of chances
Chelsea are slight favourites with the players they have
Both could challenge the top four with a win
Chelsea should dominate possession with the quality players they have, though it won’t be easy to beat a confident and well-drilled West Ham side.
There should be chances at both ends in this one, and if Michail Antonio is fit to play some part, The Hammers could stand a chance.
However, Chelsea have the better quality and feel they should be favourites.
Chelsea to win 1-0