Chelsea-West Ham United Preview
The restart has gone very well thus far for Chelsea. The same cannot be said for West Ham United.
Whilst the Blues eye a sixth straight win over all competitions, they'll look to hand the reeling host Hammers a fourth straight defeat on Wednesday night.
Chelsea (16-6-9) are currently fourth in the Premier League and have posted two straight 2-1 victories out of the coronavirus lockdown. The Blues are 5-1-0 overall following a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munchen in the Champions League from Feb. 25.
Their latest triumph came 1-0 at Leicester City in the FA Cup over the weekend. However, the most notable game of the restart came with Chelsea's 2-1 top-flight win over Manchester City on Thursday, which officially secured the league title for Liverpool.
Ross Barkley scored the lone goal versus Leicester. Whilst versus City, American Christian Pulisic scored in his second straight league match and Willian dropped the tiebreaker via penalty in the 78th minute.
"It's mentality of the club and the gaffer (Frank Lampard) since he's been back," Barkley told Chelsea's official website. "We want to win every game ... Chelsea are a massive club. We win trophies every year and everyone's motivated."
Whilst that could be the case on the FA Cup front, a top-four berth is about the only realistic goal for the Blues within the Premier League. The immediate focus, though, is avenging a 1-0 loss to West Ham at Stamford Bridge back in late November.
Aaron Cresswell was responsible for the lone goal in that contest for the Hammers. Since that win, West Ham (7-6-18) are 3-2-12 and have failed to score a goal in three consecutive matches.
Those are just two reasons the Hammers currently find themselves in a relegation tussle. West Ham entered the week just outside of the drop zone, but are tied on 27 points with Bournemouth and Aston Villa - both currently holding the first two spots of the relegation zone.
West Ham's most recent defeat came via Spurs, 2-0 last Tuesday. One has to go back to Feb. 29 for the last time the Hammers scored a goal in the Premier League.
"We are a big squad with very good players, but we need to show our fans that we want to be in the Premier League," midfielder Pablo Fornals told West Ham's official website. "My teammates and I want to be in the Premier League again. It's a dream for me to play for West Ham and in the Premier League. And, I want this dream to continue."
It's uncertain if that will be the case for one of the most storied clubs in the history of English football. The Hammers last did a Premier League double over Chelsea back during the 2002-03 season.
Updated June 29, 2020