West Ham United vs Chelsea - Leaders aim to restore 10-point gap at the top

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The Blues are seeking revenge against the Hammers in a potentially fiery London derby  

Crowd trouble marred the last meeting between these sides, a 2-1 win for West Ham in the EFL Cup last October. 

Plenty of water has passed under the bridge since then though and Chelsea will be on the hunt for 3 more Barclays Premier League points in their quest to win the title.

Chelsea have a relatively clean bill of health and Antonio Conte has the luxury of selecting between Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fàbregas to partner the outstanding N’Golo Kanté in central midfield.

West Ham are a little more troubled in this department with top-scorer Michail Antonio unavailable through suspension. However, fellow Englishman Andy Carroll is in line for a return after a month out.

Team News

West Ham

Ruled out: Ogbonna, Töre, Sakho 
Doubtful:  Arbeloa, Nordtveit, Carroll
Suspended: Antonio 

Likely starting XI (4231): Randolph; Kouyaté, Fonte, Reid, Cresswell; Obiang, Noble; Feghouli, Snodgrass, Lanzini; Carroll

 

Chelsea

Doubtful: Hazard 

Likely starting XI (343): Courtois; Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta; Moses, Matic, Kanté, Alonso; Pedro, Costa, Hazard

 

Key Players 

West Ham will be relieved that Andy Carroll is back after a month out through injury, especially considering the absence through suspension of Michail Antonio.

Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has given his public backing to the striker and regards him as a key player in West Ham’s setup.

With Dimitri Payet having left the club, talented Argentinian midfielder Manuel Lanzini is now the key playmaker at the London Stadium. 

Premier League leaders Chelsea are proficient in all departments but N’Golo Kanté has stood out as a vital cog in Conte’s machine this season.

The Frenchman won the Premier League with Leicester last season and he looks odds on to make it a personal double with Chelsea.

David Luiz has often been criticised by sections of the media for his unorthodox defensive style, but the Brazilian has been imperious since returning to Chelsea from PSG at the start of 2016/2017. 

 

Key Match Stats

There have been over 2.5 goals scored in the last 4 meetings between these sides in all competitions. 
West Ham won the last meeting between these sides, a 4th round EFL Cup encounter in October 2016. 
West Ham have lost only 1 of their last 6 matches. 
Chelsea have won 17 of their last 20 matches in the Premier League.
Diego Costa has scored in 42 of his 78 Premier League matches. 

Verdict & Picks

A draw is offered at 4.08 on ClickaBet but Premier League leaders Chelsea are justified firm favourites at 1.59. 

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