West Ham vs Chelsea: Prediction, team news and match preview as relieved Manuel Pellegrini’s men are hosting flawless Chelsea

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MANUEL PELLEGRINI was rewarded for his squad tinkering as West Ham got their first win of the season thanks to a brace from Andriy Yarmolenko in his first Premier League start.

The Chilean made six changes to the starting line-up, most since January 2014, but his experiment worked and the Hammers comfortably beat Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park.

West Ham are hosting Chelsea on Sunday afternoon

Chelsea were surprised by Cardiff’s early lead last week but Eden Hazard stepped up his game and scored a hat-trick as the Blues defeated the Bluebirds 4-1, making it five straight wins in a row.

Key Man

Marko Arnautovic had a stellar performance against Everton, scoring a goal and adding an assist to his tally.

The Austria international is having a remarkable year as only Mohamed Salah has contributed to more Premier League goals than Arnautovic (16) in 2018.

Known for his bad temper, he has kept his poise for a while now and become a central figure in West Ham’s team who takes responsibility on his shoulders.

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Marko Arnautovic has scored three goals for West Ham this week
Getty – Contributor

Weakest Link

West Ham splashed £36m for Felipe Anderson but he is yet to show his full potential for the Hammers.

The team’s fans have seen glimpses of his talent and skills, dribbling in particular, but the Brazilian tends to wane as a game goes on.

Anderson has contributed to a one goal only for West Ham and needs to step up as Pellegrini’s men are facing a tough Premier League campaign.

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The stat that matters

Since his debut in the Premier League, Eden Hazard has contributed to 114 goals for Chelsea, scoring 73 and assisting 41.

No other Premier League midfielder has been involved in more goals than the Blues’ ace during that time.

Eden Hazard was Chelsea’s hat-trick hero as the Blues came back from behind to beat Cardiff 4-1
Reuters

Likely line-ups

West Ham: Fabianski, Masuaku, Diop, Balbuena, Zabaleta, Rice, Anderson, Obiang, Noble, Yarmolenko, Arnautovic

Chelsea: Arrizabalaga, Azpillicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Hazard, Giroud

What the managers said

Following West Ham’s victory over Everton, Manuel Pellegrini said: “I was worried about the game, because I was absolutely convinced we must win. We have been very unlucky to lose the three last games.

“It’s easy to change and say this isn’t the right way, but i am completely convinced it is. We tried to score goals form the first minute and we did it.”

Manuel Pellegrini was in hot water after West Ham’s poor start of the season
Reuters

After the win over Cardiff, Maurizio Sarri said: “I think in this moment we are very dangerous in the offensive phase but we are not so solid as I want in the defensive phase. We need to improve, but we are able to and can improve very quickly.

“I thought Hazard was one of the best players in Europe, but now I am changing my mind that he is the best. I think Hazard can improve more. I think that he can spend less energy than now at 50 or 60 metres to the opposite goal.”

Despite the victory over Cardiff and perfect Premier League record, Maurizio Sarri demands improvements from his players
AFP or licensors

Prediction

West Ham are looking to build on their first Premier League win. Chelsea might feel tiredness following their Europa League clash on Thursday and a trip to London Stadium can turn out tricky. We’re thinking a 2-2 draw.

Listen to the game live on TalkSPORT – click here for more info. (https://talksport.com/)

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