Back-to-back defeats have sent Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, a side that had previously been ranked among Liverpool’s most likely title rivals, slipping back into mid-table before facing an opponent who have caused them a host of issues in recent years.
West Ham have lost just one of their last six meetings with Chelsea and won at Stamford Bridge last season. A repeat result for David Moyes’ side would take them above their London rivals and propel them into the top four conversation. Here’s how you can watch the match and what to know:
Viewing informationDate: Monday, Dec. 21Time: 3 p.m. ETLocation: Stamford Bridge — London, United KingdomTV: NBCSNLive stream: fuboTV (Try for free)Odds: Chelsea -225; Draw +360; West Ham +550 (via William Hill Sportsbook)Storylines
Chelsea: It may not be quite so simple as to suggest that Chelsea’s form fell apart when Hakim Ziyech was lost to injury but there is a stark difference in this team with and without their Moroccan international. With Ziyech in the team Chelsea’s record is 6-1-0. Without him it is 5-6-3.
Kai Havertz and Timo Werner seem to be struggling with the additional burden to create without Ziyech and Christian Pulisic is clearly not fully sharp after hamstring troubles. Against obdurate defenses such as West Ham’s creating chances could be a challenge for Chelsea.
West Ham: Under Moyes West Ham have a plan that works for them. They relish playing teams to whom they can hand the initiative, unleashing Pablo Fornals, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio, who has just agreed a contract extension to 2023, when the ball breaks their way.
With Said Benrahma impressing of late the Hammers have options to punish the Blues if the chances come their way.
Chelsea certainly have the quality to win this rather comfortably and yet West Ham against top tier opponents have consistently impressed. They might just add further misery to Lampard’s festive season. PICK: West Ham (+550)