West Ham take on Chelsea at the London Stadium with Champions League implications on the line
A high-stakes London derby is the main attraction on Saturday afternoon, as West Ham United host Chelsea at the London Stadium as both sides vie for Champions League football next season.
The Blues currently hold the coveted fourth place right now, but only by goal difference, and if it’s a draw between these two on Saturday, they could both slip down the table with Liverpool stealing a march on both sides if they beat Newcastle earlier in the day.
West Ham lost ground when they lost to Newcastle last week, with Craig Dawson sent off during the first half. He’ll miss out when Chelsea visit through suspension, meaning David Moyes could switch back to a back four, with Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop at centre-back, or recall Fabian Balbuena.
Aaron Cresswell is hoping to be fit again after a thigh injury. Moyes said a late decision was made on him before the Newcastle game, so he should be back in contention providing there’s been no bad reactions. Michail Antonio and Declan Rice are both out, but Jesse Lingard is ok after a cramp issue.
Chelsea’s momentum under Thomas Tuchel has seemingly slowed slightly of late, with a dull goalless draw at home to Brighton in the week again raising issues of their attacking prowess.
The German coach has a multitude of options in attack, with Kai Havertz being given a few chances in a false nine position recently, with limited success. Timo Werner and Olivier Giroud came off the bench against Brighton, but no one could break the deadlock as Super League fallout dominated the night.
Thiago Silva sat out that game as a precaution after playing twice in a week, but could return to Chelsea’s back three. Mateo Kovacic is a doubt with a hamstring injury, but otherwise Tuchel has a fully fit squad.
West Ham take on Chelsea at the London Stadium on Saturday, April 24th. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.