Floundering Chelsea Host West Ham in London Derby


Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from defeat and continue their home run against West Ham when the two meet this afternoon at Stamford Bridge. The Blues were beaten 3-1 by Tottenham last weekend to extend the gap between Chelsea in fifth and the top four to eight points. However, they have not lost in 11 home Premier League games against the Hammers (W8 D3).

Antonio Conte admits it will be tough to make a top four surge with just seven games remaining but the Italian still wants to see his players battling until the end.

“We have to try to do everything to continue to have the possibility to fight for a place in the Champions League,” he said. “It won’t be easy, we have to be realistic, but at the same time we have to give all of ourselves. I think that everyone has to show pride, desire and a will to fight until the end of the season. This is very important for me, for my staff and for the players, also because the supporters deserve at least this.”

West Ham have already beaten Chelsea this season though, winning the reverse fixture 1-0 in December and handing David Moyes his first victory as Hammers boss.

When asked if his side could do the double, he said: “I hope lightning can strike twice and we can do it again. I’ve seen Chelsea quite a lot and they’re a really good team with some excellent players.

“We’ll go there and give them great respect but with a game-plan to bring points back here to West Ham. They have to win all their games as a top club so don’t think for a minute that they will switch off. We have to hope we catch them on an off-day and we perform well. If we do, I hope we can give them a really good game.” Chelsea could have both Thibaut Courtois and Pedro fit. The Belgian has been missing with a hamstring injury, with the Spain forward absent due to an unspecified knock, but the pair are in contention to return against the Hammers.

West Ham’s Michail Antonio will miss the game, as well as the rest of the season, following his injury against Southampton last weekend. Moyes confirmed Manuel Lanzini, who missed the game with the Saints, may feature

Chelsea have lost five of their last seven Premier League games (W2). That’s as many as they lost in their entire title winning campaign of 2016-17 under Antonio Conte. The Blues haven’t lost back-to-back home Premier League London derbies since 1999, when they lost 0-1 against West Ham in the March, before Kanu’s hat-trick saw Arsenal triumph 3-2 in the October.