Can Chelsea take advantage of Arsenal’s slip up yesterday and climb back in to the top four? Or can West Ham cause a stir at Stamford Bridge?
Ins and outs for both
There’s a mountain of team news and potential alterations for both these two sides. West Ham have had longer to prepare for this game with no midweek fixture, which has given the hope that some big players could return to the starting 11.
Ryan Fredricks should start at right back; his blistering pace and delivery from wide areas has been an asset for West Ham throughout the season and he’ll look to get up and support Michael Antonio on the right hand side. This could be a real point of exploitation for The Hammers as Marcos Alonso is missing for Chelsea leaving Emerson to step in at left back. The Brazilian has been far from a regular this season and will have a hard task against two very athletic West Ham players.
The biggest news for West Ham comes in the forward areas as a trio of talent could return. Samir Nasri should make the bench at the very least, but whether or not he is preferred to Manuel Lanzini is yet to be seen. Marko Arnautovic could also return; the Austrian forward is West Ham’s biggest goal threat and can cause any side a problem with his physicality and superb technical ability. He’s the shortest odds of any West Ham player to score along with Javier Hernandez at a price of 4.0 anytime. Another huge boost for the visitors is the return of Felipe Anderson, the winger has arguably been their player of the season and one of the signings of the season in the Premier League. If him and Arnautovic make the starting 11 then West Ham are a different prospect and look a lot more dangerous, particularly with both players possessing a real x factor.
For Chelsea, after some rotation midweek the question lies with whether Sarri will stick or twist. Callum Hudson-Odoi played well on his first Premier League start and got himself an assist. With a stretched relationship between the two already, Sarri’s decision to start him or not in this game could have a real impact. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has a minor hamstring injury, if he’s deemed unfit to play then Ross Barkley will return in midfield. Gonzalo Higuain could also return to the starting eleven in place of Olivier Giroud. The Argentine is the shortest odds of anyone to find the net at a price of 1.8 anytime.
Everything to play for
Chelsea can get back in to the top four this evening after Arsenal stuttered to a 1-0 defeat at Everton yesterday. With The Blues still motoring along The Europa League as well their season may turn out much better than it looked at several stages this season but with fans still unconvinced by Sarriball it may not be enough come the end of the season. His decision on Callum Hudson-Odoi tonight could be a real issue with the fans as many want to see much more of the young starlet who has already shown his ability on the International stage.
A win here for Chelsea would take them up in to third place; and if you were to offer fans that just a few weeks ago they’d have taken it especially with City and Liverpool being the runaway leaders. Chelsea are the firm favourites to get the win at a price of 1.25, which is understandable given their home record. Their fans have seen just one defeat at The Bridge this campaign and no side has conceded fewer goals at home than tonight’s hosts. However, if West Ham have their big guns back I can see them getting on the scoresheet as Chelsea have looked vulnerable defensively in their past few games. A Chelsea win and over 2.5 goals could be god value at 1.67.
Gonzalo Higuain to score anytime @ 1.8
Chelsea win @ 1.25
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.45