It was a sobering experience for the European champions on Wednesday night as a heavily-rotated Arsenal put them to the sword in a 4-2 comprehensive win, placing a huge emphasis on Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea to respond in the Premier League this weekend when West Ham make the short journey across the M25.
Tuchel shuffled the pack against the Gunners, with Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva and Hakim Ziyech all initially kept on ice before he was forced to call upon the trio to salvage something from the game, but Mikel Arteta’s men were ruthless in the second half and resolute at the back, claiming a famous victory at the Bridge.
West Ham meanwhile have fallen off the pace in the Premier League, but that can perhaps be understandable given their focus has been firmly fixed on the Europa League and that semi-final first leg with Frankfurt next week. David Moyes is in the midst of a centre-back injury crisis, so Sunday is looking like a tall order.
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Chelsea vs West Ham: Match Stats
Only Oriol Romeu (69), Allan (71), John McGinn (88) and Christian Norgaard (102) have registered more tackles than Declan Rice (68) in the Premier League this season, and given the fact that West Ham currently only have one fit centre-back in Craig Dawson, the defensive exploits of their stand-in skipper will be absolutely crucial here if the Hammers are to get something from this game.
Issa Diop has been the latest player to sit on the treatment tables at Rush Green, joining Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna, so Tuchel may feel there is an opportunity for Chelsea to capitalise on the injury woes of their opposition. In Timo Werner, he has a player emitting confidence at the minute having scored four goals in his last three games, including against Arsenal and Real Madrid in the Champions League.
04 Dec 2021 – West Ham 3-2 Chelsea – Premier League
24 Apr 2021 – West Ham 0-1 Chelsea – Premier League
21 Dec 2020 – Chelsea 3-0 West Ham – Premier League
01 Jul 2020 – West Ham 3-2 Chelsea – Premier League
30 Nov 2019 – Chelsea 0-1 West Ham – Premier League
It was a famous triumph for West Ham in the reverse fixture at the start of December, with Arthur Masuaku netting that scintillating cross-cum-strike that caught everyone at the London Stadium by surprise, not least Edouard Mendy, who certainly was not expecting the snap strike at his near post.