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Chelsea Vs West Ham Premier League Football Match 2023

Chelsea Vs West Ham Premier League Football Match 2023

On the back of respective 1-1 draws to kick off the 2023-24 Premier League season, West Ham United and Chelsea square off in Sunday afternoon’s London derby at the London Stadium. Both sides came from behind to salvage a point in their opening encounters, as David Moyes’s side held Bournemouth while the Blues pegged Liverpool back at Stamford Bridge. Beginning a new era without Declan Rice manning the midfield, West Ham also attempted to consign Manchester City’s relentless pursuit of Lucas Paqueta to the back of their minds when they travelled south for their opening Premier League fixture of the new term against Bournemouth.

A 51st-minute Jarrod Bowen effort propelled the Europa Conference League winners into the ascendancy, but Bournemouth responded eight minutes from full time through Dominic Solanke, as West Ham escaped with a point despite enjoying just 37% of the ball at the Vitality Stadium. Moyes lamented Bournemouth’s “completely lucky” equaliser as the ball fell kindly for Solanke to tap home, but the West Ham boss admitted that his side invited pressure as the second half progressed, and similar tactics could potentially prove fatal against Pochettino’s new-look Chelsea.

A return to the London Stadium is just what the doctor ordered for the Irons, though, as they won each of their final three fixtures in front of their own fans last season and have lost just twice at home – to Newcastle United and Liverpool – since the turn of the year. Furthermore, West Ham have found the back of the net in all of their competitive home fixtures since a 2-0 loss to Brentford in December, allowing the Hammers faithful to enter the weekend with a moderate sense of optimism, especially with Chelsea now reeling from yet another injury to their skipper. Off-field animosity preceded Chelsea’s blockbuster meeting with Liverpool in the capital last weekend, as the Blues hijacked their Merseyside counterparts’ British-record deal for Moises Caicedo before also convincing Romeo Lavia to snub Anfield for Stamford Bridge.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were on the road to revenge when Luis Diaz prodded home from Mohamed Salah’s perfectly-weighted pass, but later on in the first half, the Reds failed to deal with a corner and paid the price when Axel Disasi swept home from Ben Chilwell’s header back into the box. Barring a deflected Darwin Nunez strike which flashed just wide of the post, Chelsea – who restricted Liverpool to just 35% of the ball – arguably deserved to come away from the headline encounter with all three points, as Pochettino brought a breath of fresh air to West London. Including his quintet of friendly fixtures, Pochettino is yet to lose since taking the reins at Chelsea, and his next goal is to reverse a worrying trend that has seen the Blues win just one of their last 13 top-flight matches, and none of their previous five.

Coincidentally, 1-1 was also the scoreline when West Ham and Chelsea did battle at the London Stadium back in February, prior to which the visitors beat the Irons twice in a row at Stamford Bridge, and there is now a new 19-year-old midfield protege ready to make his mark in blue. West Ham’s first home game of the season could also see maiden appearances for newly-signed midfield duo Edson Alvarez and James Ward-Prowse, the former of whom was not deemed fit enough to feature at the Vitality Stadium, while Ward-Prowse’s arrival was confirmed on Monday.

Alvarez was a target for Chelsea in 2022 but recently admitted that he was relieved not to have seen a transfer go through, and the ex-Ajax man could now link arms in the middle with Ward-Prowse and Paqueta, as Man City continue to be rebuffed in their efforts to sign the Brazilian. The hosts – who also have no injury concerns whatsoever – are continuing to splash their Rice cash and are thought to be working on deals for Mohammed Kudus and Konstantinos Mavropanos, although neither man will be signed in time for Sunday.

In contrast, Chelsea’s well-occupied medical room welcomed back regular member Reece James earlier this week, as the newly-appointed skipper – who came off against Liverpool due to fatigue – is set to spend at least a few weeks on the sidelines with a new hamstring injury.

James joins Trevoh Chalobah and Benoit Badiashile in the thigh injuries club, while Wesley Fofana, Armando Broja and Christopher Nkunku are all rehabilitating from knee problems, and Marcus Bettinelli – now the club’s second-choice goalkeeper – remains unavailable too. The door has swung open for Malo Gusto to impress on the right-hand side in James’s absence, while debuts could also come the way of Caicedo and Lavia, whose £58m transfer from Southampton was announced on Friday morning.

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