West Ham United–Chelsea
English Premier League, Week 6
Having sprung a surprise during their match with Everton last week, West Ham welcome crosstown rivals Chelsea to London Stadium on Sunday and will hope to continue their newfound good form. Victory at Goodison Park was wholly unexpected for Manuel Pellegrini, the Coach finally seeing his side move up from the bottom of the table.
The former Manchester City boss has major issues to address first however, with the fitness of key man Marko Arnautovic – who has been directly involved in four of their five league goals this term – foremost among them. The Austrian picked up an injury last weekend and his availability is uncertain, while fellow strikers Chicharito Hernandez, Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini will also all be missing out.
They are joined on the sidelines by central defender Winston Reid and midfielder Jack Wilshere, leaving Pellegrini with a major headache when it comes to selecting his starting XI. He will hope to see winger Andriy Yarmolenko continue to shine after he scored twice against Everton, and he will need the assisted once by Arnautovic, and the Ukraine star will need to shine if they are to cause problems for Sunday’s visitors.
For Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri will arrive at this fixture hoping to become only the third manager to win his first six Premier League games, something that only Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola have previously been able to accomplish.
Sarri has only one player out injured as Marco van Ginkel remains unavailable, but the rest of the squad is at 100% and that should allow the Italian boss to bring a number of key players back into the side. Eden Hazard got a well deserved rest after his hat trick heroics against Cardiff last weekend and will therefore be fresh and ready to go here, the Coach having stated he believes the Belgian star could score forty goals this term.
Cesc Fabregas is thought to be in contention for a place in the starting XI, likely joining N’Golo Kante and Jorginho in a superb midfield while Marcos Alonso continues to shine at left back, providing width and stretching defences to create space for Hazard. The former Fiorentina man’s accurate crossing is perfect for Olivier Giroud too and the French World Cup winner could prove to be a handful for a defence as porous as West Ham’s.
West Ham United (4-5-1): Fabianski; Zabaleta, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku; Yarmolenko, Noble, Rice, Obiang, Anderson; Arnautovic
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Christensen, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Fabregas; Willian, Giroud, Hazard
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