Chelsea are done with non-domestic competitions for the next couple months, as attentions turn to the Premier League winter grind, the League Cup quarterfinal (vs. AFC Bournemouth on the 20th) and the start of the FA Cup in early January. In the meantime, Chelsea will play no less than 7 league games in just 3.5 weeks, starting with Saturday’s early kick-off across town at the London Stadium.
After Swansea and Newcastle, West Ham are the third league opponent in a row to be in the middle of some sort of crisis, though the Hammers’ issues dwarf anything the prior two may be experiencing. With renowned positive influencer David Moyes and his permanent deer-in-headlights look casting a cheery aura over proceedings, things may get worse before they get better.
Even so, three points are hardly guaranteed for Chelsea, even if we are playing pretty well these days. Nothing’s ever guaranteed in the Premier League, and you know the local fans will be up for this rivalry game despite the early lunchtime kick-off.
Conte’s set to address the media in a few hours with team news and all the usual non-football nonsense that sells clicks and papers, but presumably David Luiz remains out with his knee injury while all others are available, if some not quite fit to start. Batshuayi, Kenedy, Ampadu, and Musonda Jr all played the full 90 for Chelsea U23 on Wednesday as they beat MK Dons (Reserves) 4-0 in the Checkatrade Trophy second round.