The midweek result against Arsenal has piled the pressure on Chelsea this weekend. They have conceded four or more goals in their last two Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge and that is an area of concern for Thomas Tuchel. They welcome West Ham United on Sunday, in what could be a difficult game. The visitors may have one eye on the Europa League, but they will be motivated to beat one of their local rivals and cement their own league position. Champions League qualification through the league looks unlikely for the visitors, but they still have an outside chance.
Thomas Tuchel is facing the most challenging period of his Chelsea career to date. The Champions League exit coupled with the recent heavy defeats in the Premier League have brought criticism. The club haven’t been aided by off field distraction caused by the battle to be the next owner of the club. The German head coach has managed to come across very well in the media during this time, but he won’t want his team’s Premier League campaign to fizzle out. A win this weekend is vital in ending the malaise at Stamford Bridge.
David Moyes has done an excellent job at West Ham, as his reputation has been fully restored. The Hammers have been competing at the top end of the Premier League for two successive seasons. It is difficult to maintain these standards for more than a single season and the icing on the cake would be to win the Europa League. The focus will be on that competition, but Moyes will understand the importance of maintaining standards in the Premier League.
- Chelsea have the third highest goals scored; third lowest goals conceded and are third in the table. This shows they deserve their league position, but they are still behind Liverpool and Manchester City across all areas.
- David Moyes has failed to win in 17 visits to Stamford Bridge as a Premier League manager.
It has been a very good few weeks for Timo Werner, as he has reignited his Chelsea career and is now a member of their first choice eleven. The German has struggled to make an impact in the Premier League. It was thought that he would be sold in the summer. That could still be the case, but he is beginning to play himself into Thomas Tuchel’s plans for next season. The focus is now on the underachieving Romelu Lukaku and Werner has started to find some form without such intense focus on him. The forward has contributed four goals and two assists in his last four matches across all competitions. It is the best run of form he has shown since arriving in the Premier League. His pace and movement has always caused problems for opposition defenders. However, he is now showing more confidence in the final third and he is starting to get his rewards for that. West Ham are missing some key players at the back and there is a lack of pace in the back line. Werner could carry a big threat on Sunday.
This has been a breakout season for Jarrod Bowen, as he is now regularly influencing matches at the highest level. He is West Ham’s biggest goal threat and he will be hoping that he can play his way into the England squad for the summer. His movement and emphatic finishing ability makes him a very dangerous player. During his time with Hull, he managed to emerge as one of the best goal-scorers in the Championship. He is beginning to establish himself at a similar level in the Premier League. This season, he has contributed nine goals and eight assists. I he aim will be to reach ten for both, as very few players will manage that landmark in the current season. He was the difference in the previous fixture between these two clubs and he will hope to have a similar impact on Sunday.
Antonio Rudiger is expected to miss out at the weekend, while fellow defender Andreas Christensen is a doubt. Matteo Kovacic is expected to miss out with an ankle injury. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell will remain on the sidelines.
Kurt Zouma and Issa Diop are both expected to be missing for the visitors. David Moyes could choose to rest a couple of players ahead of their Europa League semi final.
Despite their last two defeats at home, Chelsea will be motivated to bounce back this weekend against another London rival. West Ham have shown that they are able to cause the best teams problems, but they will have their focus on their Europa League semi final. The intensity could drop off on Sunday and that will allow the home side to take the three points.
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United