Chelsea will play their fourth London Derby inside five Premier League fixtures when they cross the capital to take on West Ham this afternoon, and the pressure on the big-spending Blues to produce the goods should be immense following a disappointing run.
Graham Potter’s expensively assembled outfit was held to a 0-0 draw by Fulham in their last assignment and the lack of fizz in their performance was out of whack with their showbiz spending in January. West Ham meanwhile, carved out a share of the spoils at highflying Newcastle last weekend and recent Irons performances have hinted at a possible resurgence.
Below, you can sink your teeth into my Bet Builder stats pack for today’s lunchtime kick-off, which contains nugget after nugget of useful info for your bet-building pleasure. Read my Stats Pack Guide to learn more about how you can get the most out of the data.
David Moyes deployed his team in a 3-4-2-1 formation at Newcastle last weekend and the Iron’s solid display at St. James’ Park, especially from a defensive standpoint, should convince the Scot to use to the same set-up against Chelsea today.
Kurt Zouma, Maxwel Cornet, Alphonse Areola and Thilo Kehrer have all been ruled out through injury for the Hammers this afternoon, while Gianluca Scamacca is also expected to miss out as he steps up his recovery from a knee issue.
Chelsea’s injury list is starting to lighten a little, however, Armando Broja, Christian Pulisic, N’Golo Kante, Denis Zakaria and Edouard Mendy are all still in the treatment room. Loanee Joao Felix is finally free to play again having served his three-game suspension.
Noni Madueke looked bright when he came off the bench against Fulham last Friday and the 20-year-old will be pushing to start today. Ben Chilwell and Raheem Sterling will also hope to feature from the start having been introduced from the bench against the Cottagers.
West Ham have won two of their last three meetings with London rivals Chelsea at the London Stadium, scoring three times on each occasion, however, a trio of goals in a single sitting seems beyond David Moyes’s side at present.
The Irons have been falling short of their project xG per 90 by quite a distance this term, indeed, West Ham have better numbers in that department than Chelsea despite sitting nine places below the Blues ahead of kick-off.
While their struggles at the business end of the pitch have hamstrung their progress, West Ham remain tough to score against. Only four clubs have conceded fewer goals in the league overall, one of which is Chelsea. Under 2.5 goals is priced at 6/10 today.
Just three of Chelsea’s January signings started last Friday’s 0-0 draw at home to Fulham, though an uninformed observer might have thought there were 11 strangers in blue following another disjointed display.
Graham Potter’s mid-table strugglers have now scored just two goals in their last five Premier League fixtures combined and ten clubs in the division have out-performed Chelsea for shots on target per 90, while 12 other outfits have posted better xG figures in attack.
Chelsea’s card count per 90 has started to fall of late and they collected just four bookings in their last three league contests. The Blues still have work to do to to match West Ham’s levels of discipline, however. Chelsea have amassed a full 17 more cards than the Irons in 2022/23 and they are priced at 5/4 to receive more of them again later on.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
West Ham’s performances have started to improve, though they still aren’t quite clicking from an attacking perspective and they managed to muster an average of just three shots on target in their last three Premier League matches.
Jarrod Bowen has been straining every sinew to make an impact, however, and the winger has clocked at least two attempts on target in three of his last four runouts for the Irons in all competitions.
Interestingly, Bowen was one of three West Ham combatants to hit the mark with a shot when the Hammers lost 2-1 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in September. Bowen is keenly priced to have at least one shot on target again at 4/7 today.
Chelsea can empathise with West Ham’s frustrations in the final third and the Blues racked up just five shots on target in their last two Premier League fixtures combined.
Some of those attempts have come from unusual sources like defenders Benoit Badiashile and Thiago Silva, though Joao Felix catches the eye much further up the pitch today.
The Portuguese loanee made quite the impact on his debut in another London Derby against Fulham on January 12th, and before his sending off just before the hour mark, Felix had six shots, with four of those listed as accurate. If the 23-year-old features today, he could be worth a look at 7/5 to hit at least two shots on target again.
Player Goals and Assists
Jarrod Bowen carries decent form into today’s tussle and the wide attacker has rattled the net three times in his last three appearances for West Ham in league and cup. The 26-year-old was also among the goalscorers when the Hammers beat Chelsea on the Blues’ last visit to the London Stadium in December 2021.
Bowen is available at a meaty 7/2 to score anytime against Chelsea again this afternoon. If you need further convincing, then it might satisfy you to learn that 100% of Bowen’s Premier League goals this season have been registered in home games for the Irons.
Picking potential goalscorer options from Chelsea’s ranks is a tricky task and of the seven goals the Blues have scored in their last 12 Premier League games since mid-October, only German attacker Kai Havertz (three) has found the net more than once.
Havertz is priced at 13/5 to add to his modest overall tally for the season today and the 23-year-old did net a late winner when Chelsea edged out West Ham back in September. Ben Chilwell made one and scored another himself that day and if the defender gets the nod over Marc Cucurella, he might interest at few at 7/2 to either score or assist again.
West Ham rank fourth-last in the Premier League for average possession controlled this season and David Moyes will be content for his side to sit back and wait patiently for counter-attacking opportunities again this afternoon.
However, that puts bettors in a bit of a bind when it comes to identifying Hammers players with potential in the passing market today. When West Ham last played Chelsea, not one of their players lodged more than 35 passes and tallies across the pitch should be pretty similar today.
If you’re determined to add some passers to your bet builder later on, it’s probably savvier to pull options from Chelsea’s list instead.
Premier League wins are still proving elusive for Chelsea under Graham Potter, though their tactical taskmaster has been laying decent foundations in terms of possession and only two clubs (Man City & Liverpool) have averaged more in the league this term.
Both Chelsea centre-halves, Benoit Badiashile and Thiago Silva look capable of hitting big numbers again today as does midfield metronome, Enzo Fernandez. Veteran Silva attempted at least 90 passes in each of his last two runouts in the league however, and the 38-year-old is my pick at even money to beat the same target today.
West Ham Cards
Nayef Aguerd has looked the part at the back for West Ham since his return from injury, though his collection of three cards from five Premier League appearances suggests he should feature in your thinking today at 9/5 to be cautioned again.
Brazilian Lucas Paqueta is fond of a nibble in midfield and he should show extra bite today against Chelsea’s Argentinean anchorman Enzo Fernandez. Paqueta has committed at least two fouls in seven of his 13 Premier League starts in 2022/23 and the 25-year-old is nicely priced at 8/13 to commit at least two more today.
Declan Rice meanwhile, always seems to play with extra zeal against his boyhood club. The marauding 24-year-old has given away two fouls in four of his last six starts in the league, though Rice can be backed at a generous 4/9 to commit just one later on.
When Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech cuts in from his flank today, he should come up in direct opposition to Nayef Aguerd in what should be a fascinating duel between two Moroccan internationals. Aguerd will be happy to cast friendships aside when tackling his compatriot.
Enzo Fernandez was marked out for special treatment in his first Premier League start against Fulham and the Argentinean playmaker can expect more of the same from Lucas Paqueta today
Mason Mount and Declan Rice are close friends off the pitch, but on it, the pair’s relationship promises to be more acrimonious this afternoon, and Rice is certain to aim some kicks in Mount’s direction.
Match-Ups to watch
Lucas Paqueta vs Enzo Fernandez
Nayef Aguerd vs Hakim Ziyech
Declan Rice vs Mason Mount
Graham Potter seems to appreciate Conor Gallagher’s combative qualities, though the midfielder is a walking card for Chelsea and in the white-hot atmosphere of a derby, the 23-year-old could lose his cool again.
Gallagher was booked in two of his last three Premier League appearances and he committed four fouls in Chelsea’s last away fixture at Liverpool. Take your pick from two markets for Gallagher today at 17/10 to be carded and 8/13 to commit two or more fouls.
Marc Cucurella (10/3 to be carded) was cautioned when he last played against West Ham in September and up against the same winger in Jarrod Bowen today, the Spaniard could be found wanting again.
Reece James was also booked on the opposite flank in that clash with the Hammers and the 23-year-old has committed a notable six fouls in eight Premier League starts this season. James looks like decent value at 1/2 to commit just one indiscretion today.
Conor Gallagher likes to cover as much grass as possible during his hunt for opponents to kick and Declan Rice and Lucas Paqueta could be in his firing line today.
Jarrod Bowen tends to draw plenty of fouls on the right flank and the combination of pace and close control he wields should put March Cucurella on edge.
Former Chelsea wing-back Emerson Palmieri and tricky Algerian attacker Said Benrahma will hope to work in tandem to trouble Reece James down West Ham’s left-hand side. James could lean on his more cynical skillset if he is outnumbered at any stage later on.
Match-Ups to watch
Conor Gallagher vs Declan Rice/Lucas Paqueta
Marc Cucurella vs Jarrod Bowen
Reece James vs Emerson Palmieri/Said Benrahma
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
There’s some great selections to consider for your bet builder in this one, and I’ve put together some really simple picks using my stats pack that come in at a tasty looking 13/1.
West Ham vs Chelsea
Thiago Silva averages 77.4 passes P/90.
He attempted 108 passes away at Fulham last week.
Chelsea average 58% possession to West Ham’s 45%.
Chelsea average 2.28 cards P/90, and only draw 1.86 cards against P/90.
Contrastingly, West ham receive 1.29 cards P/90, and draw 1.71.
Lucas Paquets commits 2.27 fouls P/90.
He’ll likely be up against Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher. They draw 2.00 and 2.39 fouls P/90 respectively.
Conor Gallagher averages 2.07 fouls P/90.
He’ll be up against Lucas Paqueta, who draws 1.43 fouls P/90.