West Ham v Chelsea
Premier League, Wednesday July 1st, KO 8:15pm
Live on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event
It’s 17th versus 4th in the table, with only goal difference keeping the Hammers out of the bottom three. By contrast, Chelsea are now just one point behind third-placed Leicester (who play at 6pm on Wednesday at Everton).
West Ham are on a poor run. They have won just one of their last eleven Premier League matches, losing eight of them. In six of the eleven games they have failed to score, and that includes the last three.
Since the Premier League’s return from lockdown, they have lost 2-0 at home to Wolves and 2-0 away to Tottenham, which, admittedly, were difficult fixtures.
After the visit of Chelsea, they will face Burnley at home, Norwich away, Watford at home and Man Utd away. They are in a dogfight for survival.
Chelsea have made a very good return from lockdown, winning all three of their matches – twice in the league and in their FA Cup quarter-final with Leicester.
They have now won their last five matches (all competitions) and are playing with confidence. A note of caution, though, is introduced by the fact that their 1-0 win at Leicester gave them just a sixth clean sheet in their last 26 matches.
They have scored two-or-more goals in 12 of their last 17 matches, although they have scored more-than two goals in only two of them – 3-0 at home to Burnley on January 11th and 4-0 at home to Everton in what proved to be their last match before lockdown.
Olivier Giroud has scored three goals in his last five Premier League starts for Chelsea and Christian Pulisic has scored seven in his last eleven. He has also scored in each of Chelsea’s Premier League fixtures since the restart. (He is 6/1 to score first in the game and 15/8 to score at anytime.)
HEAD TO HEADS
Since West Ham moved to the London Stadium, they have met Chelsea three times at home in the league with the scores being 1-2, 1-0 and 0-0. They beat Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge when the sides met in the league this season on November 30th.
This century, the West Ham v Chelsea Premiership/Premier League fixtures (at West Ham) have produced the following scores:
0-0, 0-2, 2-1, 1-0, 1-3, 1-4, 0-4, 0-1, 1-1, 1-3, 3-1, 0-3, 0-1, 2-1, 1-2, 1-0 and 0-0
That works out as nine wins for Chelsea (from 17 games), four for West Ham and three draws, with only one of the draws (last year) occurring in the last eight years.
Robert Snodgrass will miss out (lower=back injury). Record signing Sebastien Halle is rated as doubtful (hip). Defender Arthur Masuaku (ankle) is also rated doubtful.
Fikayo Tomori (muscle injury) hasn’t played since the resumption and is likely to miss out again. Christian Pulisic limped off against Leicester on Sunday and appeared to be a doubt for the game but does, in fact, start the match.
There is no love lost between the opposing sets of fans, which often leads to West Ham raising their game against Chelsea. They are going to need that type of spirit on Wednesday.
They will also draw hope from the fact that (home and away) Chelsea have beaten West Ham only three times on the last ten occasions the teams have met, with West Ham winning four times.
The Hammers will also look to Chelsea’s difficulty in keeping clean sheets.
However, with West Ham looking shaky and Chelsea looking confident, a Chelsea win (8/13) looks good and, with nine of the last 17 games resulting in one team failing to score when Chelsea have visited West Ham, Chelsea To Win To Nil is reasonably priced at 17/10.
A Chelsea win, though, is the main recommendation.
If you were looking to have a first scorer bet, Christian Pulisic at 6/1 seems reasonable enough given his current form.
The double of Chelsea (to beat West Ham on Wednesday) and Manchester United (4/15) to beat Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, works out at around 11/10.