5 April 2019

Chelsea v. West Ham Preview  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea v. West HamChelsea will assess the fitness of Ruben-Loftus Cheek ahead of their all-London clash with West Ham, live on Monday Night Football.

Loftus-Cheek has a long-standing back problem and could miss out, despite Blues manager Maurizio Sarri praising the tactical development of the England midfielder, who scored in the 3-0 home victory over Brighton in midweek.

Sarri said: "Now he is tactically a very good midfielder. At the beginning of the season he was a very offensive midfielder. Now he is complete, I think."

Elsewhere for Chelsea, Marcos Alonso must prove his fitness after a hamstring issue and Ethan Ampadu has a back complaint, but Pedro is expected to shake off a knock.

Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini has revealed Felipe Anderson, Samir Nasri and Ryan Federicks are "okay" and have been training with the squad ahead of the game.

Andy Carroll, Carlos Sanchez, Andriy Yarmolenko, Jack Wilshere and Winston Reid all remain sidelined.

Opta stats

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 12 home league meetings with West Ham (W8 D4) since a 2-3 loss in September 2002.

West Ham are unbeaten in their last three Premier League games against Chelsea (W1 D2), last having a longer unbeaten run against the Blues between March 1998 and March 2000 (5 games).

Chelsea have lost three home Premier League London derbies over the past four seasons (W9 D4 L3) - as many as they had in the previous 11 campaigns in the competition (W34 D13 L3).

After a run of eight London derby matches without a win (D5 L3), West Ham have won four of their last five in the Premier League (D1).

Chelsea haven't lost a home Premier League game on a Monday since December 1994 (2-3 vs Man Utd), winning 11 and drawing three since.

No side has conceded fewer home goals than Chelsea in the Premier League this season (10). Only Arsenal and Manchester United (2) have scored more than once as a visiting side at Stamford Bridge this season.

West Ham are unbeaten in their last 17 Premier League games in which they've scored this season (W12 D5) since a 1-3 loss at Arsenal in August. It's the longest current such run in the division.

West Ham striker Javier Hernandez has scored in each of his last four Premier League away games against Chelsea. Only four players have scored in five consecutive away Premier League games against an opponent - Dion Dublin vs Tottenham, Alan Shearer vs Leeds, Ruud van Nistelrooy vs Newcastle and Robert Pires vs Tottenham.

Merson's prediction

Nothing but a Chelsea win here.

West Ham are on the beach a bit as they are safe and going nowhere. They were very fortunate against Huddersfield when they won 4-3, that papered over the cracks, and then they got found out against Everton and if it wasn't for Fabianski it could have been any score.

I thought Chelsea were very good against Brighton, it's probably the best I have seen them play in a long time.

I expect Chelsea to win comfortably, but how many will be thinking about their Europa League quarter-final first leg on Thursday? Especially the manager as he hasn't won anything. Coming fourth in the league won't make a difference to him but winning the Europa is massive, so it will be interesting to see how he sets up.

He has an excuse with his team selection because he could turn around and say he is looking at Thursday. If you were him that's what you would be looking at. I think they might play their strongest team on Thursday.


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