High-flying Chelsea high-step it across London to take on low-flying West Ham United, who, as usual, would love nothing more than to get one over the Blues, especially Frank Lampard’s Blues, especially while also fighting tooth and nail to avoid relegation.
Chelsea have won five in a row in all competitions stretching back to before the pandemic. West Ham have lost 9 of 12 and have just five (5!) wins since October. Of course, one of those was against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League, proving once again that form rarely matters in these sorts of matchups.
There should no shortage of motivation for Chelsea either however, with Manchester United again breathing down our necks after yesterday’s 3-0 win over Brighton. There are seven “finals” remaining in the season (plus one or two more in the FA Cup); all of them must-wins.
And so we must. Win.
Date / Time: Wednesday, July 1, 2020, 20.15 GMT; 3:15pm EDT; 12:45am IST (next day)
Venue: Publicly Funded Olympic Stadium, London
Referee: Martin Atkinson (on pitch); Jonathan Moss (VAR)
Forecast: Breezy, rainy, not at all summery
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBCSN, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); SuperSport 3 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); DStv Now (NGA)
West Ham team news: Decent foursome Sebastian Haller, Robert Snodgrass, Angelo Ogbonna, and Arthur Masuaku are all unlikely to feature as they deal with various knocks and twists and bruises, or, in the case of Snodgrass, a slipped disc. Ouch. Sucks getting old, let me tell ya.
West Ham still have plenty of decent players — Chelsea target Declan Rice, recently of center back, included — but it’s just not coming together for them as they remain neck-deep in a six-way relegation battle. Of course that just means every point is precious, and if we don’t put them away early, they will begin to believe that some of those points could be earned in this game — even without fans in the stands to drive them on.
The Hammers had a whole week to prepare for this one, which could also make a big difference in such a congested schedule across the league.
Chelsea team news: Chelsea are also sweating the fitness of a couple key players, with Project Restart star Christian Pulisic and suddenly imperious defender Andreas Christensen both carrying knocks. Fellow center back Fikayo Tomori remains out, but Callum Hudson-Odoi has been back in full training and has been posting all over social media how he’s ready to go. Make it so!
Frank Lampard has warned that even though the results have been good, the underlying play hasn’t really improved since the inconsistencies of the winter period. Chelsea will need to keep battling, keep improving, keep working if we are to finish the job this season and set up the team for next season and beyond.
Previously: Let’s not re-live that 1-0 loss from earlier this season, nor the last two times we’ve come here when we also didn’t manage to score a goal (0-0 draw last season, 1-0 loss the season before). Here’s something that at least has a few fun moments, including THAT Mario Stanić goal.