Are you ready for some football? A Monday night party?
It feels like it’s been forever and a day since Chelsea last played, and the weekend itself felt particularly slow to pass by. We’ve seen all of Chelsea’s top four rivals pick up three points — so not including Arsenal who are self-destructing rather hilariously and Manchester United against whom the universe may be conspiring — all of which does put a bit of extra pressure on the Blues to come away with all three points tonight.
West Ham’s new stadium is not an easy place to play, for either side, but as long as Chelsea stick to the core tenets of work, fight, improve — while paying great attention! — we should be fine. Regardless of what happens, Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table will be at least seven points over Spurs and eight of Manchester City who do have a game-in-hand.
Date / Time: Monday, March 6, 20:00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST (next day)
Olympic London Stadium, London, England
Referee: Andre Marriner — we last saw Mr. Marriner in the 3-0 away win over Leicester City. That’d do nicely once again.
Forecast: Decent temps at kick-off, but dropping quickly.
On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); NBCSN, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Universo Now (USA); Hotstar (India)
West Ham United team news: West Ham have recovered from a very poor start to the season and the mid-season sideshow with Dimitri Payet to actually put together a decent run of results. They have lost just once in their last six games, though that one loss was a 4-0 hammering by Manchester City.
Slaven Bilić will be without leading goalscorer Michail Antonio, who’s suspended, but Andy Carroll should be back and Chelsea tend to make the big man look world class. Diafra Sakho, Angelo Ogbonna, and former Chelsea youngster Gokhan Töre are longer-term absentees. Robert Snodgrass is expected to be available despite a bit of legal trouble earlier this weekend when he failed to show up for a court appearance in Glasgow and was thus issued a warrant for his arrest. He called it a minor misunderstanding.
Be sure to read Rob’s opposition analysis for a few laughs and to learn more about today’s hosts.
View from the enemy: Brace The Hammer
Chelsea team news: Chelsea continue to maintain a stellar health record, with only David Luiz’s managed knee problems and a minor knock to Eden Hazard worthy of note. Neither is expected to miss any game time and Conte is expected to roll with the usual starting eleven, which should include Pedro who simply can’t stop scoring at the moment.
Chelsea have won just one of the last four away from the Bridge in the league and already suffered a loss at the London Stadium earlier this season when West Ham beat the Blues 2-1 in the League Cup. Fortunately, the cushion at the top of the table allows for a slip-up or two.
Previously: Diego Costa’s last-minute winning goal against the Hammers at the very start of the season set the early tone, both in terms of the fight in the team and the passion from the new head coach.