Our live stream ahead of tonights Premier League match, Chelsea vs West Ham is now up and running, kicking off at 20.00 GMT
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, lineups, predictions and much more…
Chelsea are coming into the game having been dealt back to back Premier League defeats at the hands of Everton and Wolves; their first back to back defeats since December 2019.
Frank Lampard put the 2-1 loss to Wolves at Molineux down to fatigue, his side having let a one-goal lead given to them by Olivier Giroud slip away in the final 25 minutes.
Chelsea sat top of the league prior to their two latest losses, yet find themselves in 8th position going into tonight’s game – 9 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool.
Chelsea therefore cannot afford to lose a third straight league match for the first time since 2015, especially with games against Arsenal, Aston Villa and Manchester City up next.
The Hammers have won back-to-back away top-flight games, against Sheffield United and Leeds, which is as many as they managed in their previous 14 on the road.
David Moyes’s side may have been held to a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace in midweek, but 13 points from the last 18 on offer is a good return ahead of the festive programme.
Christian Benteke put Palace ahead in Wednesday’s match at the London Stadium only for Sebastien Haller to hit back for the Hammers.
It means West Ham have now gained five points from losing positions in the Premier League this term, matching their tally from the whole of 2019-20.
That is one of a number of areas United have improved on from last season, and Moyes will now be hoping to keep the feel-good factor alive with another positive result on Monday.
Chelsea and West Ham last met in July, with West Ham getting the three points in a five goal thriller…
Injury news – Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi?
“First day back with the group today at a decent level. I need to see how they are to see if they make West Ham. No other updates.”
A blow not to have five subs?
“Don’t want to talk about it as a blow but when we spoke as managers the overriding factor was it’s a case of player welfare and making sure they have the best opportunity to perform at an optimum level.”
“The schedule gets tougher over Christmas so would have been beneficial for player welfare. The decision’s been made so we need to carry on.”
West Ham have progressed under Moyes. What you make of his job there?
“He’s doing a great job. They have good players but way they are playing and consistency has been really impressive. He’s a very, very good manager and has got his message across to them. They are difficult to play against – threats on the counterattack and good at set pieces.”
Mean more to play against them?
“It did when I played but as a manager it doesn’t. Maybe I’ve mellowed but I focus on what’s necessary for the club. I see it as another game. An important one after two defeats in a row.”
How much of a regret for Chelsea to have let Rice go?
“He’s a fantastic player for West Ham and England. Fair play. It’s a good story because lot of those stories. It shows a strength of character. Wouldn’t say it’s a regret.”
“Our academy is one of the best in the world and it’s not easy because it’s not an exact science. Declan deserves personal credit for the start he has had at West Ham.”
Why is Werner on the left?
“For different reasons. We had a big reference for a target man. Timo for Leipzig and Germany played in lots of roles so not a problem for him to be used there. He can be used across the front three.”
Havertz – does 4-3-3 suit him?
“It does. Before Covid he was playing very well as the right-sided eight but consistency is sometimes a good thing and what I want to get for him. The reaction around him… he had no pre-season, then got Covid and all eyes are on because of the price tag but we need huge perspective here.”
“Not saying it will take a long, long time but he does need time to settle in. For Chelsea fans and us, we must give him time.”
Pulisic moving roles. Why?
“My decision. I have players who can play on both sides. Not all, like Hakim on the right, but Timo and Christian can play left and right. It can give the opposition a problem. I like to have the option to change it at times.”
Will you be busy in January? And is Timo mentally strong enough to worry about eight games without a goal?
“I don’t know about January. I’ll consider it when it’s here. With Timo, any goalscorer wants to score regularly but must have the mental toughness and confidence to go through periods. That’s every striker. It’s no problem. He needs to keep getting in those areas and the goals will come, no doubt.”
On Michail Antonio’s contract
“It was really important. He had an option we had to take up by the end of January and we were happy to take it up. It is good that the club had things under control and I am thrilled we have got Micky sorted.”
How have you viewed the season so far?
“Normally it’s halfway now but we’re only about a third through but I have really enjoyed it. We have done very well, shown a lot of good characteristics. Resilient, scoring goals and lots of improvement from where we were before. This is a really busy period.”
“We’ve worked hard. The improvements we have made have been good, the recruitment has given us a chance and the players have got themselves in good condition. Again, it is small steps, we are by far the finished article. That takes time.”
“Very good. A new team pulling together, a lot of new players and get themselves back to where they have usually been, winning the league. Frank has done a good job, they have some really exciting young footballers.”
How have you got everyone singing from the same song sheet so quickly?
“The identification of what we needed, what we needed to add. We needed legs, more speed, to change the attitude rgearding resilience but you can’t buy it in all the time, you have to work on it. We have had a good start to this season, we want to keep it going.”
“The additions we have made to the squad have helped and we need to do that in the future. It doesn’t happen overnight, you can’t expect it to go in the right direction. But I am really pleased with how the players have done, they have been exceptional so far.”
Tight Premier League
“There’s very little between the teams. The competitive nature of the league has always been there, especially this season. Now we are really missing the crowd, more than ever. We are playing the games and loving the football but we are looking forward to the crowds being back.”
“I have always said that football can’t only be played in one way. We have seen different styles, Bielsa for example and we are all enjoying it, it will always challenge the other teams. I am always looking to improve, that is part of being a manager and a coach.”
“Not too bad. We have one or two knocks and niggles. Fabian Balbuena, I need to see how he is. Antonio is back on the grass, whether it is too quick we will need to assess. We have players carrying knocks but that would be normal at this stage of the season.”
On Frank Lampard
“I have to agree, Frank has dealt with the expectations well. You’re expected to win all the games and will hunt you if you’re not winning. Chelsea have got a lot of good young players, that helps greatly.”
“The media are always keen on backing the home players and it is good to see. They have had an excellent academy over the years. Frank has handled things very well.”
Chelsea Premier League form: WWDWLL
Chelsea form (all competitions): DWWDLL
West Ham United Premier League form: WWWLWD
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Mendy; James, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Kovacic, Kante, Mount; Pulisic, Giroud, Werner
West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Coufal, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Snodgrass, Benrahma, Fornals; Haller
Olivier Giroud Anytime Goalscorer – 11/10 with FanTeam
Giroud is currently Chelsea’s first-choice striker and strengthened that claim with another goal in midweek. The Frenchman provided plenty of ariel threat and a strong focal point to the Chelsea attack.
Chelsea may have suffered two defeats on the bounce but it was an improved performance against Wolves. West Ham are in good form but have conceded in each of their last four and are unlikely to stop this Chelsea attack from finding the back of the net.
Time to take a look at our Chelsea vs West Ham live match stream as it happens…