- Chelsea can extend lead atop the PL to 10 points
- Hammers going for third-straight home win vs. Chelsea
- Conte has lost 2 of his 3 away London derbies in the PL
This could get tasty.
West Ham United host Chelsea on Monday (Watch 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a London derby at the London Stadium.
The Hammers would love nothing more than to put a sizable dent in Chelsea’s title bid as Antonio Conte‘s side could move 10 points clear of their closest rivals once again if they win. As for Slaven Bilic‘s side, they’ve been much improved since the turn of the year and have lost just once in their last seven PL outings.
These two teams squared up on the opening weekend of the season with Chelsea securing a late 2-1 win thanks to Diego Costa‘s goal but the Hammers prevailed 2-1 in an EFL Cup clash at the London Stadium earlier this season. Tensions will be high.
In team news West Ham are hopeful Andy Carroll will return to action but Bilic’s side will be without the suspended Michail Antonio. Chelsea have no fresh injury worries with Cesc Fabregas again likely to start ahead of Nemanja Matic.
What they’re saying
West Ham’s Bilic on Andy Carroll’s impact: “It would mean a lot to have him back. We’ve done well without him in the last couple of games but I’m sure we would have done even better because he’s one of our key players. It would be great to have him on the pitch on Monday and it would also be a big blow if he somehow he doesn’t make. But as I said I am always trying to be optimistic, but this time it is not crazy optimistic it is realistic that he will be fit and available.”
Chelsea’s Conte on the threat of West Ham: “This game against West Ham, for us, is very important. In the last away game, the way we played against Burnley, we drew. They played very physical football against us. Maybe it can happen, the same, against West Ham on Monday. But for this reason we are preparing for this type of situation. It will be a really tough game.”
This will be a lively atmosphere as two London rivals collide under the floodlights. Chelsea have some pressure on them with both Tottenham and Man City winning this weekend and I expect the Hammers’ direct style to cause Conte’s boys some problems. 2-2.