Tonight West Ham welcome fierce rivals Chelsea, to London Stadium, in a match that is sure to have a fiery atmosphere. The Irons seemingly have beef with every other London team, and ‘Chelscum’ are no exception to this.
A quick glance at the Premier League table shows the two sides are separated by an ocean of 30 points, and have vastly different objectives for the rest of the season. Chelsea look increasingly like champions, while the Hammers are battling to finish in the top half of the table.
Despite this, West Ham haven’t lost at home to Chelsea since 2015, most recently we knocked them out of the EFL Cup back in October. This was a great performance from the Hammers that was sadly overshadowed by the violent scenes at London Stadium during the game.
We aren’t as terrible against Chelsea as you might think and have won two of our last 6 games against The Blues – both of these have come at home, including earlier this season. This form table should give even the most ardent pessimist a slither of hope:
We have polled the staff for their predictions of this crucial clash and frankly, everyone seems quite negative about the result:
“I'm going to say 3-2, Chelsea. West Ham will get beat on the wings, particularly on the counter. They'll make a match out of it though."
Pete Schlenker (HammerPete)
"I’m being a blatant homer. 2-2 draw.
I think that a return of Andy Carroll will help the Hammers in the air because the that is one area that West Ham can exploit, with the team both able to win headers in the defensive zone and stop dead ball goal scoring opportunities, and be able to win headers in the box to score goals and cause Chelsea problems. Look for André Ayew to score against Chelsea after getting an opportunity to start with Antonio suspended."
"Find it difficult to see a West Ham win but a hard fought draw is plausible. We just won't be able to keep them out but I think we're a dormant volcano ready to erupt. 2-2"
"Because of the difference in talent and what Victor Moses has said about playing West Ham, I think the Blues will be more than up for the match. I'm afraid West Ham will go down 2-1. The Hammers will score but I can't see them taking the win or even a draw unfortunately."
My Friend Olly
Quick background on Olly - we went to the West Ham victory over Chelsea in October. He had previously complained about the stadium’s atmosphere so I bought us tickets right next to the away fans. There was a great energy in the crowd until people starting throwing chairs and we began fearing for our lives.
"West Ham need a good March after the weekend’s results put them just 6 points off 16th place. I can't see it starting well tonight though, I think Chelsea will win this 1-3. Defending this season particularly in home matches against the better teams in the league hasn't been good enough. Chelsea just have too much quality and belief right now to overlook them. The right back situation is also a huge issue with an in-form Eden Hazard to deal with."
I’m going to go against the grain and predict a cagey 2-1 victory for West Ham. Especially if Andy Carroll manages to play, I can see him adding va va voom to the Hammers' attack as he bullies defenders in the penalty area. The lack of a proper striker cost West Ham in the last few games but I feel confident of a victory in this one. Although there is a 90% chance that this is a prediction of what I want to happen…
What do you think the score will be?