London rivals West Ham and Chelsea lock horns at the Olympic Stadium this Saturday in a derby that this time extends beyond the usual bragging rights as they are both in a battle for the top four in the league.
Both teams are level on 55 points and with just six games to play this could be a proverbial six-pointer.
An intriguing match is expected here and Odibets Free Bet have terrific prices for our betting tips here.
West Ham’s are still in the hunt for a Champions League place despite the disappointing 3-2 loss to Newcastle last Saturday. A Joelinton strike and Jesse Lingard’s penalty seemed to have salvaged a point for the Hammers but Arsenal loanee Willock’s header dealt put them to the sword.
This loss proved costly for them as Chelsea leapfrogged them into 4th place on goal difference after picking up a point against Brighton on Monday.
Moyes’ side have been terrific at home in their resurgence, picking up 13 of the last 15 on offer at the London Sadium. They will however be without the suspended defender Craig Dawson for this match which could further expose their defense that has been leaky in their recent matches.
Chelsea had a chance to move up to third but a dour goalless draw at home against Brighton means they could only go up to fourth on the log and Leicester’s win on Thursday means the Foxes are tightening their grip on third place leaving Chelsea to battle it out with the chasing pack for that fourth and final slot.
The Blues’ new manager Thomas Tuchel felt that fatigue from playing Porto in the Champions League and Manchester City in the FA Cup Semis may have been the reason why they came out flat against Brighton. He is yet to lose away from home and will look to stretch this away record to 10 games when he takes on West Ham this weekend.
With a trip to Madrid looming on the horizon, Tuchel may be forced to make some changes in team selection to factor that in which would be good news for the hosts.
With just goal difference separating these two sides in the top four battle, this is a bigger game than most pundits would have expected at this stage of the season. West Ham have defied all odds and are right in the thick of this race thanks to their exceptional performances at home. The Blues have been incredible as well, particularly on their travels but they do seem to be feeling the strain of a relentless fixture list given the number of competitions they are still active in. That said, we expect a tough battle here with neither team too keen to cede a lot of ground. Goals are likely to come at a premium here and we are going for Under 2.5 goals @ 1.80 as our initial betting tip here.
Despite West Ham’s potent attack, they will be up against one of the best defensive teams. Chelsea’s defensive has been terrific on the road, particularly to start off matches. In the last 9 games in all competitions, they have kept a first-half clean sheet in 8 matches! Knowing a draw is probably good for them, we can expect them to turn to their defensive Modus Operandi here and we feel a price of 1.43 for the Blues to keep a 1st Half clean sheet is good enough for our final prediction.
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