Chasing European football, West Ham host defending champions Chelsea on Saturday, in what could turn out to be a real test for Slaven Bilic’s side. While Chelsea have not been their usual self this season, they are hardly any push-overs and would severely test the belief of this West Ham side.
West Ham are without the services of Alexandro Song (Ankle) and Reid (Back) who are set to return to action at the end of this month. Attacker Victor Moses too will miss the game as he cannot face his parent club Chelsea.
Under pressure manager Jose Mourinho remains without the services of Thibaut Courtois (Knee) and Ivanovic (Hamstring), who remain sidelined with their respective injuries. With both players critical to the Portuguese’s plans, he has had to shuffle his pack. However, there is some good news for the Chelsea fans as we could see attackers Pedro & Remy return in the game at Upton Park.
- With 38 chances so far, Payet is currently the most creative player in the top 5 European Leagues so far.
- West Ham have scored 20 goals this season, second to only league leaders Manchester City.
- Both the teams have won 22 games, with 16 games ending in a draw.
- Palace have beaten Leicester at the King Power Stadium in the last 2 seasons.
Adrian, Tomkins, Cresswell, Jenkinson, Collins, Kouyate, Lanzini, Noble, Payet, Sakho, Carroll
Begovic, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Rehman, Fabregas, Ramires, Matic, Hazard, Willian, Costa.
The Frenchman has been the most creative player in the top five leagues of Europe, a contingent that consists of the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Hazard and Neymar and that speaks volumes of the impact of the player in England so far. The 28 year old has created 38 chances so far, apart from finding the back of the net on five occasions. Jose Mourinho has been tipped to tighten his defence on the back of some terrible performances and Payet will have his task cut out come Saturday. With Matic still not showing the top form he displayed throughout the last season and should the trend continue, the Blues will find it tough to contain him and that could cost them the match.
The Belgian has come under immense criticism in the recent past for his lack lustre performances. He was dropped from the starting line-up against Aston Villa last week. However, we expect him to start on Saturday. Having created 28 chances this season, Hazard is by far the most creative player in this Chelsea side. We expect him to turn the tide around at West Ham after the decent outing away at Dynamo Kyiv. Hazard needs to step up and prove his doubters wrong and this could well prove to be the first step in the process.
West Ham have been in incredible form over the last six games and we expect them to take the game to Chelsea. However, with damage seeming irreparable with every passing match day, Jose Mourinho would rather play out a draw than loose. We expect the game to end in a 1-1 draw.