West Ham v Chelsea Preview

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: Eden Hazard of Chelsea holds of Andre Ayew of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Chelsea travel to West Ham tonight, looking to go 10 points clear at the top of the table. West Ham on the other hand, are hoping to get back into the top half with a win.

Chelsea have been breathtaking so far this season, Conte has Chelsea set up perfectly. The Blues set up in a 3-4-3 formation, with Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso bombing forward down each flank. Moses has finally found his feet this season, after a number of loan spells. Conte has shown faith in Moses and it is certainly paying off, with the player now a vital part of this Chelsea side. Keeping a hold of Diego Costa has also been a crucial part of Chelsea’s success this season. Love him or hate him, the striker guarantees goals. Antonio Conte has transformed a Chelsea side that were completely off the pace last season. Eden Hazard has been exceptional this season after a season in hiding last year. When the Belgium is on form, he can be unplayable. I love watching this Chelsea side, they are a real joy to watch.

As for West Ham, after a poor start to the season the Hammers are slowly adjusting to their new surroundings at the London Stadium. I am glad that West Ham decided to give Slaven Bilic time to turn the season around. Reports last week emerged that Bilic was close to singing a new deal with the club. I rate Bilic highly, I feel he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the job he has done at West Ham. It is not easy for a club to move stadium, Arsenal are a prime example of that. West Ham welcome back Andy Carroll to the squad, after the striker missed the last few games with a groin injury. After losing Payet, Andy Carroll has certainly stepped up. On his day Carroll is a real handful, in my opinion he is probably the best centre forward England have. Unfortunately Carroll has had his fair share of injuries, I hope for his sake that he can keep fit for a long time now.

It looks set to be a thoroughly entertaining game tonight. West Ham have every chance of getting something from this game, it would be wrong to write them off. I think Andy Carroll will be a nightmare for David Luiz and Gary Cahill to defend. Defensively West Ham will have to be a lot better than they have been in recent weeks. The Hammers signed Jose Fonte in January to add some much needed steel to their defence.

Tottenham and Manchester City fans will be hoping Chelsea slip up in this game. It looks like Chelsea are running away with the league at the minute. There is still a long way to go but if Chelsea do not win the league from this position, they would have to completely capitulate, I don’t see that happening under Conte.

London derbies are usually quite spicy, I don’t see this encounter being any different. Expect some meaty challenges and a physical game. I see this being a close game, one that I think Chelsea will just edge. With the way Chelsea are playing at the moment, it is difficult to say who can stop them, unfortunately for West Ham I think Chelsea have a little too much for them.

Prediction: West Ham 1 Chelsea 2

Ones to watch: West Ham – Andy Carroll, I fully expect the striker to terrorise the Chelsea centre halves tonight. He will bring other West Ham players into play with his fantastic hold-up play. I wouldn’t bet against him being on the score-sheet tonight.

Chelsea – Eden Hazard, like I have said – on his day he can be unplayable. The Belgium has put the disappointment of last season behind him. He has been in truly scintillating form. Hazard glides past opponents, he will be a key player in the game tonight.