Big-spending and underperforming Chelsea will play their second consecutive London derby when they travel across town to the London Stadium to face relegation-threatened West Ham, with kickoff slated for 12”30 GMT.
Graham Potter needs to gel his new acquisitions quickly to make an impact this season. The new owners will like to see their heavy spending with some positive results on the pitch.
David Moyes’ West Ham will be looking to claim a scalp in this London derby as they look to put some daylight between them and the relegation scrap.
The Threat of Relegation at West Ham
From playing Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-final last season to fighting for survival this season, Moyes’ charges have dramatically changed fortunes.
However, the Hammers will be braced for the fight in the second half of the season as they look to regain some consistency in their performances.
While Moyes and his men have struggled this season, they will know that the clash with Chelsea is a derby, and the London Stadium will be primed for a proper fight.
A win will help them move toward safety; they are currently a point above 18th-placed Everton and 17th-placed Leeds United.
Settling New Chelsea Signings into the Team
With Chelsea’s injury crisis easing, Potter will soon find himself with a bloated squad. However, his immediate attention will be on turning the club’s fortunes this season.
Languishing 9th on the table, Chelsea need to start getting points to make a dent this season. They have to do this while bedding in a raft of their new signings.
Enzo Fernandez debuted in the 0-0 stalemate against their local rivals Fulham. Another new signing Mudyrk was withdrawn at halftime due to a heavy cold, while Kai Havertz struggled upfront.
It is time for Potter to find solutions to this team’s problems and start getting points on board to justify the team’s record outlay in January.
David Moyes will have to do without left winger Maxwel Cornet. The 26-year-old forward has been sidelined with a calf injury since October 1st, 2022. He has sat out of 21 West Ham matches, and no return date has been set for his recovery.
Summer signing Gianluca Scamacca is also likely to miss the derby with a knee injury. The Italian striker has been out since January 20th and has missed three outings for the Hammers.
West Ham will also be without French center-back Kurt Zouma who is nursing a hamstring injury. The 28-year-old former Chelsea defender has been sidelined since January 27th and has missed two matches so far.
Joao Felix will be available for selection after serving his three-match ban after the straight red card on his debut against Fulham.
Potter still has some significant absentees due to injury; these include Ngolo Kante (hamstring), Armando Broja (cruciate ligament rupture), Christian Pulisic (knee), Edouard Mendy (shoulder), and Denis Zakaria (hamstring).
L. Fabianski; N. Aguerd, A. Ogbonna, T. Kehrer; Emerson, D. Rice, Lucas Paqueta, V. Coufal; S. Benrahma, J. Bowen; M. Antonio
K. Arrizabalaga; R. James, T. Silva, B. Badiashile, M. Cucurella; C. Gallagher, E. Fernandez, M. Mount; J. Felix, K. Havertz, M. Mudryk
West Ham will be disciplined, compact, and energetic in their approach to the Chelsea clash. They will close down spaces and make sure that Chelsea do not get into their rhythm.
Chelsea will seek to dominate the ball and control the match’s tempo. They will leverage pace down the flanks and pass through the lines to create chances.
With a good record at the London Stadium, West Ham will win the match and take all three points to bolster their survival bid.
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