City’s Loss Is Chelsea's Gain

Diego Costa found the net in the League Cup Final on Monday. Image courtesy of mirror.co.uk

West Ham EPL Logo


West Ham v Chelsea


Boleyn Ground, London

Thursday March 5 –   5:45am (AEST)

Form:


LDDDL

WDWWD


Chelsea EPL Logo

 

Chelsea have the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the EPL ladder when they travel to West Ham on Thursday morning (AEST).

After Manchester City missed the chance to close the gap between themselves and Chelsea on Sunday, the Blues’ lead at the top remains a five point deficit. While Jose Mourinho’s men were busy winning their first piece of silverware for the season in the League Cup Final, the Sky Blues suffered yet another loss at Anfield to give Chelsea breathing space at the top. A second London derby in four days lies ahead for the league leaders, with an out-of-sorts West Ham in their firing line. With no injury setbacks to contend with, Mourinho has a squad close to full-strength at his disposal. The only noticeable absentee will be Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic, who picked up a red card last week in his side’s 1-1 draw with Burnley.

West Ham’s push for European qualification has dried up in the past couple of months with the Hammers slumping in form. Despite Sam Allardyce managing to get his side into the top half of the table, fans are calling for the axe to be swung. The Irons faithful don’t agree with Big Sam’s playing style, and a 3-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace on the weekend didn’t help the manager’s cause. If there was a positive to come out of that match, it would be that Ecuadorian striker Enner Valencia broke a 14-game goal drought with a late conciliation. The 25-year-old showed glimpses of brilliance on a couple of occasions, and he’s an outside chance at to score first on Thursday.

Three points would do wonders for both sides in the league, but the market suggests Chelsea will win comfortably. West Ham have won just once in their past 18 clashes with the Blues, that victory being a 3-1 win in their 2012/13 campaign.

 

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