Chelsea v West Ham

There was a 21/10 winner yesterday, which came with Liverpool defeating Arsenal 4-3 in an entertaining game at the Emirates.

A London derby is the feature on Monday Night Football.


Chelsea v West Ham

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick Off: 20:00

Referee: Anthony Taylor


Team News

Kurt Zouma is the only man sidelined for any period of time for Chelsea following the knee injury he sustained last season.

Otherwise, Antonio Conte has a strong squad to call upon for his first match in charge at Stamford Bridge.

 

Summer signing N’Golo Kante is likely to make his debut alongside Cesc Fabregas and it was Kante’s presence that Leicester sorely missed on Saturday.

Last season’s star buy Dimitri Payet may not play the full 90 following his near miss with France at Euro 2016 meaning the Hammers may lack that extra bit of quality we’re used to seeing.

Left back Aaron Cresswell is out till November with a knee injury, so new signing Arthur Masuaku is likely to deputise after signing from Olympiacos.

 

Another absentee is Manuel Lanzini, who sustained a knee injury on Olympic duty for Argentina. He returned to training earlier this week and is ahead of schedule in terms of a return.

£20 million man Andre Ayew could start as part of a front three with Sofiane Feghouli on the other side whilst Andy Carroll is the spearhead.


Preview

After a turbulent start to last season the Chelsea ship steadied and was navigated to calmer waters by Guus Hiddink.

Now Antonio Conte has taken over at the helm it’ll be interesting to see what sort of formation he goes with considering the players at his disposal. One thing we know for sure is he’ll be hot on being rigid and solid at the back.

The Blues are unbeaten against West Ham here at the Bridge dating back to September 2002 (W7, D3)

Slaven Bilic enjoyed an excellent first season in charge of West Ham and that came courtesy of some standout signings, mainly with Dimitri Payet being unearthed as a gem.

 

The Hammers have already got their season of to a start of somewhat having featured in the Europa League. They managed to overturn a first leg deficit at the Olympic Stadium to progress 4-2 on aggregate and face a tricky trip to Astra next.

Football is a marathon not a sprint but that Europa League campaign could impact on them in the long term if they don’t have the squad depth required to cope.

However first up and against city rivals you have to expect them to be up for it mentally and could be physically fitter.

Looking through the history books then both sides have won three of their last four matches on the opening weekend. Last year Chelsea were held by Swansea but West Ham travelled to Arsenal and won.

The referee is Anthony Taylor, considered amongst the elite in this country and was part of Mark Clattenburg’s Euro 2016 final team.

 

Last season he was appointed to 31 matches, which saw him dish out 108 yellow cards and five red cards. It works out at just under 3.5 yellows shown per game for the Greater Manchester official.

He took charge of three matches involving Chelsea last year and they never won one whilst he was the referee for five Hammers matches and in his first dismissed Adrian late on.

For the last two seasons this seems to have been a tetchy contest with 24 yellows and a red in four matches.

With officials clamping down on dissent and with the likes of Diego Costa and Mark Noble on the pitch (both collected eight cautions last year) it may be worth looking at a high booking points count. Over 55 is 17/10 with William Hill.

Another angle in on the cards market is with a player to be shown a card. Cheikhou Kouyaté didn’t have the best of times in the last campaign with referees and he saw yellow in both fixtures against Chelsea. His combative style makes him a play at 13/4 with Unibet to see yellow.

 

The opening weekend is about getting a feel for things. Yesterday’s seven matches saw a grand total of 77 corners, which average out at 11 per game. Four of those seven went over ten, so this is an area to look at.

Factor in recent history of this fixture then that sort of thing adds up. Recent stats on the corner count are as follows: 19, 11, 9, 14, 16, 12, 10 and 19 – those numbers average out to 13.75. Over 11.5 is priced at 10/11.

Right then, the way into this fixture could be with a first half goal. If you take the 0-0 draw out of the equation in 2014 then there has been 12 goals scored prior to the break in nine matches dating back to 2010/11. Even though it is the opening day I do think this is a match where we’ll see goals.

From a goalscoring perspective then Andy Carroll could be the way to go. He finished with nine goals in the league following an injury ravished season but two of those goals came against this opposition.

The Geordie has showed what he offers in pre season netting four goals, including two in the opening match at the Olympic Stadium where the Hammers feel to a 3-2 defeat to Juventus. At 4/1 anytime with Paddy Power he does look too big considering his recent exploits.


Advice:

Total First Half Goals – One (17/10 – 188Bet)

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