Preview: West Ham United v Chelsea

Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United face a stiff test on Sunday at the London Stadium when they meet league-leading Chelsea in a Premier League clash.

Premier League
Date: 23 September 2018
Game week 6
Kick-off: 14:30 (GMT+2), 20:30 HKT
Venue: London Stadium

Referee: M. Dean
Assistants: I. Hussin, M. Scholes
Fourth official: S. Attwell

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

West Ham 96 36 20 40
Chelsea 96 40 20 36

Previous encounter:

Chelsea 1-1 West Ham 08/04/2018 (Premier League)
Chelsea scorer: Cesar Azpilicueta (36′)
West Ham scorer: Javier Hernandez (73′)

Players to watch:

Andriy Yarmolenko made his first start for the Hammers during the side’s 3-1 victory over Everton last Sunday – United’s first win of the campaign – and he managed a superb brace in the contest. The player formed an impressive understanding with Marko Arnautovic and this pair could be the ones to watch this weekend.

Eden Hazard has been on fire for the Blues in 2018/19 after managing five goals in five Premier League matches for the Maurizio Sarri-coached outfit. He may be fancying his chances of adding to his tally against a West Ham defence that has conceded plenty of goals this season.

Team form and manager quotes:

Despite seeing his side pick up four losses and just one victory in their opening five matches of 2018/19, West Ham boss Pellegrini believes his side will stick to their guns.

A 3-1 victory over Everton last weekend away from home has boosted confidence levels, and the manager insists his team won’t change their outlook or formula against their London neighbours.

He told reporters: “We believe in what we are doing and we are not going to change. I said last time after we lost I will accept advice but I was not going to change what we are doing.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Sarri is not taking the game for granted and wants to continue the perfect winning start to the campaign.

The Italian rested Hazard for Thursday’s encounter against PAOK in the Europa League as he wants to keep the forward fit and firing.

Explaining the decision, he said: “He told me after the national team (duty earlier this month) and the match against Cardiff he was a little bit tired, so I thought it was better to stay at Cobham, to have training and rest.”

Team news:

West Ham are hopeful that Arnautovic will be fit after seemingly shaking off a knee concern. Midfielder Jack Wilshere is out for up to a month after undergoing ankle surgery. Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini and Winston Reid are longer term absentees.

Hazard and David Luiz should be fresh for the clash after being rested for Thursday’s Europa League tie with PAOK. Playmaker Fabregas is fit after recovering from injury while Ruben Loftus-Cheek may also be available.

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