Chelsea can leap-frog Arsenal and Spurs into third place with victory over West Ham on Monday night 8pm (after Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at Everton on Sunday) and every point counts for Maurizio Sarri’s side as they chase a coveted Champions League place for next season.
The Blues made a boll*cks of their first game against West Ham earlier in the campaign when they drew 0-0 at Upton Park, they’ll be favourites ahead of the Hammers’ visit to Stamford Bridge, not only because of the sides’ respective form heading into Monday night’s fixture, but also because of how strong Chelsea have been at home this season.
Sarri has seen his team lose just once at the Bridge in the league – against Leicester City just before Christmas. Chelsea have won nine of their last 11 games at home in all competitions, losing to Manchester United in the FA Cup being the only other blemish on that impressive record.
More interestingly still, Chelsea haven’t lost a Premier League game at home on a Monday since December 1994 (United at fault again) and they also have the meanest home defence in the league this season, conceding just 10 goals. Add to that the fact Sarri oversaw a comfortable 3-0 win against Brighton at the Bridge last time out and it doesn’t look good for West Ham ahead of this derby.
The Hammers come into the game on the back of losing 2-0 to Everton at Upton Park, a result which allowed the Toffees to leapfrog them in the table to take the coveted 10th place. Manuel Pellegrini described the defeat as his side’s worst game of the season, likely because he was enraged by the fact it set West Ham back in the rip-roaring midtable battle.
The Chilean wants his side to finish the season strongly – tremendous motivation and professionalism on his part considering his employers are allegedly courting Lyon boss Bruno Genesio. The cheek of them. In any case, Pellegrini will be boosted by the return to training of mercurial trio Felipe Anderson, Samir Nasri and Ryan Fredericks, all of whom missed out last week.
With his attacking options bolstered, and the fact that West Ham have lost just once in their last five meetings with Chelsea in all competitions, Pellegrini will be quietly confident his players can be an Achilles’ heel for the Blues again.
Given that the 0-0 draw in September was the first goalless draw these two teams had played out in 11 games, we reckon they wouldn’t dare serve up such turgid sh*te twice in a row. We’re going for goals in this one for our Same Game Multi (SGM) – over 1.5 at 1/9, to be exact, seeing as just four of those 11 games saw one or less goals scored.
We also reckon that West Ham will shake off their recent wastefulness in front of goal which has seen them draw blanks in three of their last five outings. Leg two of the (SGM) will be both teams to score at 20/23.
That said, considering the Hammers haven’t won at the Bridge in the league since September 2002, we’ll add Chelsea to win at 1/4 to the SGM.
And to round off the fourth leg for sh*ts & giggles – and because he’s scored in his last two games – we’ll include Ruben Loftus Cheek as an anytime goalscorer at 12/5.
This same game multi pays around 6/1 at the quoted prices:
Chelsea to win @ 1/4
Over 1.5 goals @ 1/9
Both teams to score @ 17/20
Ruben Loftus-Cheek anytime goalscorer for Chelsea @12/5
*Prices correct at time of posting