Tom Love gives his preview and tips for Wednesday's fixture between West Ham and Chelsea
Wednesday night sees beleaguered West Ham United host high-flying Chelsea at the Olympic Stadium and there’s a lot on the line for both teams at different ends of the table. The Hammers are on 27 points along with Bournemouth and Aston Villa, only outside the relegation zone on points difference. They’re right in the mire and has looked toothless upon the restart with back-to-back 2-0 losses.
It’s just two home wins in the last 12 for David Moyes’ side, they look to be a bunch of individuals and not a collective and that puts a lot of doubts in my mind over them, thankfully for them they have some easier looking fixtures after this one with games against Burnley, Watford and Aston Villa which will be huge. They’re coming up a Chelsea side with plenty of options, perfectly epitomised by Frank Lampard in their weekend FA Cup clash at Leicester. He brought on a trio of Cesar Azpilicueta, Matteo Kovacic and Ross Barkley at half time and it made all the difference.
We’re seeing a move to the big teams getting the job done, benefitting in the second half due to their greater squad depth and that could tell again here. Barkley should’ve done enough to get a starting berth here in an attacking midfield role and if he does, I think the 9/2 available on him to score anytime looks a tasty price. He had 4 shots in the 45 minutes he was on the pitch at the King Power, landing 3 on target and grabbing the winning goal. Opportunities have been scarce for the England man put he put a serious case to Lampard to get a starting berth here. I would wait on team news first before placing this though as squad rotation is rife at the moment.
My main play here though will be to get with the away side. They’re a little short to put up for the outright win at 4/7 but we can boost that to even-money when plumping for Chelsea to win and under 4.5 goals and that looks a fair way in. All of the Blues’ last 10 league wins have also seen fewer than 5 goals and West Ham have attempted to be a bit more stringent at the back under Moyes, but have also lacked for firepower, if they do score it’s hard to see them notching more than a single goal.