Chelsea v West Ham
Monday 21 December, 20:00
Live on Sky Sports
Back-to-back defeats have halted Blues progress
It was all going swimmingly for Chelsea. A 17-game unbeaten run, an easy qualification to the Champions League knock-out stage, and inside a win of going prime of the Premier League desk.
Then got here the bump again down to earth for Frank Lampard‘s males. Just when the Blues had been trying like real title contenders – then buying and selling because the 6.05/1 third favourites in the Premier League Winner market – a shock 1-0 defeat at Everton was adopted by a 2-1 midweek loss at Wolves; back-to-back reversals in opposition to two groups that went into these clashes largely off form.
Chelsea dropped to seventh in the desk following the midweek fixtures, drifting out to 12.011/1 to win the title forward of the weekend video games.
It means Lampard is compelled into a significant rethink forward of Monday’s capital clash with West Ham. On the plus facet his crew may have had six days – seen as a little bit of a luxurious in the present season – to relaxation because the defeat at Wolves. On the unfavourable facet his two big-name summer season signings, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner (extra on him later), have been extraordinarily disappointing of late and requires them to be rested – a well mannered manner of claiming dropped – are mounting.
Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi – two excellent candidates to exchange Havertz and/or Werner – are again in coaching which means Lampard has a totally match squad to select from, and I’d wager it is extraordinarily probably that we’ll see at the least a number of modifications from the XI that began at Molineux with the robust festive schedule forward in thoughts.
A sample rising to Hammers’ season
West Ham are having fun with a superb season, going into the weekend fixtures simply 4 factors behind second-place Tottenham following Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
David Moyes described their midweek efficiency as “flat” nonetheless, and that is not the primary time that the Hammers have not been at their finest not too long ago whereas selecting up factors. Just a number of weeks in the past in opposition to Aston Villa they had been a lot the second finest however one way or the other left the London Stadium with a 2-1 victory.
What is changing into very obvious although is that Moyes’ males know their degree, and that beating or avoiding defeat in opposition to the non-Big Six groups is the important thing to their success. They’ve taken simply two factors from a doable 15 in opposition to Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Tottenham this season, whereas they’ve taken 19 of the final 21 accessible in opposition to everybody else.
That stat clearly does not bode effectively for the journey to Chelsea on Monday night time, however West Ham can take large confidence from the truth that they’re on a run of scoring in 15 consecutive video games (all competitions), which incorporates these 5 video games in opposition to the opposite Big Six groups as effectively all seven away matches performed this time period.
Enhance the house win by backing targets at every finish
Up till the final week or so I’ve been very impressed with Chelsea, and so they go into this clash on a nine-game unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge
But I feel the important thing to unlocking this sport is West Ham.
Moyes’ males have develop into very constant this time period in the truth that they do not win in opposition to Big Six groups whereas they decide up loads of factors in opposition to everybody else. Chelsea are a Big Six crew, and a greater one than Arsenal and Manchester United – who’ve both beat the Hammers this season – so we simply can’t have the away win on our radar at 7.26/1.
Lampard’s males are worthy favourites at 1.51/2 and I fancy they’re going to land the percentages (the Draw might be backed at 5.04/1) with a slightly-rotated, freshened-up beginning XI, although including Goals to our wager will increase the house win value.
The Hammers have scored in each away sport they’ve performed this season together with three at Leicester, three at Tottenham, and two at Leeds final time in a sport the place they might simply have scored extra.
They’ve additionally scored in opposition to Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd this time period, so I feel we might rely ourselves very unfortunate if Monday night time is the sport they fireplace in a clean.
The well-liked Over 2.5 Goals possibility is buying and selling at simply 1.625/8, albeit understandably, whereas Over 3.5 Goals might be backed at 2.68/5, however as a substitute take an opportunity on Chelsea/Yes at 2.89/5 in the Match Odds and Both team to Score market.
I’ll even be very in a Chelsea win and goals-related Same Game Multi that features Timo Werner if the previous RB Leipzig prolific goalscorer begins in both a entrance three or as a lone striker.
Which leads me onto…
How do you clear up an issue like Werner
In 4 seasons with Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig the longest spell of video games Timo Werner went with out scoring – for membership amd nation – was 5. At Chelsea he is at the moment on a nine-game scoreless run, and arguably his final significant contribution for the Blues was eight video games in the past when an outstanding run and help wrapped up victory at Newcastle.
In Chelsea’s latest back-to-back defeats Werner has been virtually non existent, failing to make any influence in any way enjoying virtually as a large midfielder, from the fitting in opposition to Everton after which from the left in opposition to Wolves.
I do not suppose that it is any coincidence that the 24-year-old began his Chelsea profession fairly brightly, enjoying as a part of a entrance three in the early weeks after which because the lone striker when having by far his finest sport for the membership in scoring a brace in opposition to Southampton.
The common opinion is that Werner can play wherever in assault, however you sense that it might probably’t be good for his confidence or his consistency that from one sport to the subsequent he does not know whether or not he’ll be up entrance on his personal, a part of a entrance three, or enjoying on the left or proper of an attacking midfield behind Tammy Abraham or Olivier Giroud.
Lampard wants to discover Werner’s most influential place and keep it up.
The German worldwide has super tempo and motion, and as his goalscoring document in the Bundesliga suggests, he is a prolific finisher. So you need him up the sphere, entering into the field as a lot as doable.
What you don’t need is Werner large of an attacking midfield behind a lone striker, the place his predominant emphasis then turns into to create targets fairly than rating them. With an out-and-out striker like Abraham, or a extra static one like Giroud, already in the central striker function, Werner’s probabilities of transferring in there from large develop into restricted. I really feel this can be a massive issue in why his targets have dried up.
Werner is 16/5 on the Betfair Sportsbook to rating first, and 5/6 to rating at anytime.
When scoring at the least as soon as, Chelsea have misplaced simply certainly one of their final 38 Premier League dwelling video games (W27 D10), with that defeat coming by the hands of Liverpool final season (1-2). The Blues are unbeaten in their final 16 league video games in which they’ve scored at Stamford Bridge (W14 D2).