West Ham vs. Chelsea betting odds, preview, and pick
Two London sides square off in a pivotal battle for Champions League position as West Ham host cross-town rivals Chelsea on Saturday.
Sat, April 24 2021, 4:30 PM
West Ham look to move into top four
The race for Champions League next season could not be tighter in the Premier League. Chelsea currently sit fourth in the standings, tied with West Ham on points, but ahead in goal difference. Three teams sit within three points of them, with Everton three back and Liverpool and Spurs just two back—although Tottenham have played one more match.
A win over the Blues on Saturday would put the Hammers into the top four after they slid out with their shocking defeat to Newcastle last weekend. It would also help them chip away at the all-important goal differential, which currently has Chelsea eight goals ahead. They have just two wins in their last five outings, but the three matches before the Newcastle fixture saw them take 3-0 leads in each one, and then barely held on to win two of those.
West Ham will be without defender Craig Dawson, who picked up a red card in the loss to Newcastle. Aaron Cresswell is a match-time decision, and Arthur Masuaku is unlikely to be fit in time. Michail Antonio is still injured, so Jared Bowen will likely continue to deputize at the top with red-hot Jesse Lingard tucked in behind.
Chelsea licking wounds after Super League debacle
As for the Blues, they suffered a stunning scoreless draw with Brighton at midweek, a match that nobody truly enjoyed watching. This came just a couple of days after their announced participation in the quickly eroded Super League, which they announced just a few hours after the match that they would no longer be participating in.
On the pitch, the Blues continue to struggle to find the back of the net with consistency. Since putting four goals past a woeful Crystal Palace side, they have managed just two goals in their last three matches, including their FA Cup 1-0 semifinal victory over Manchester City. They managed a paltry seven shots against Brighton, with only four finding the target, and never truly looked like a threat to score. Their defense continues to shine, however, as they have conceded just twice in their last five fixtures.
Chelsea’s upcoming schedule is not an easy one, with a pair of Champions League matches against Real Madrid in the next two weeks along with tilts against Manchester City, Arsenal, and Leicester. Finishing top four will not be an easy task by any means, especially if the Blues continue to struggle in the final third.
Chelsea should be at nearly full strength, but they will have the Madrid match in mind as they pick their starting XI. Mateo Kovacic will miss the match with a hamstring issue, but multiple key players rested midweek and will be ready to return.
Trends and Betting Advice
West Ham have taken 13 of a possible 15 points in their last five home matches in league play, and have lost just once in their last 10 home fixtures. In their last eight home matches in the Premier League, they have led both at half-time and full-time in six of them. Only Manchester City have taken more points at home than West Ham.
The total has gone Over 2.5 goals in all but one of their last seven at home, and the Hammers themselves have scored at least two in each of their last five at home. West Ham have allowed at least two goals in each of their last four Premier League matches.
Chelsea have lost just once in their last 13 Premier League matches, and have kept a clean sheet in 15 of their last 20 matches in all competitions. They have not lost in any of their nine away matches in all competitions since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel as manager.
Chelsea’s back line has been stellar this season, but they have been quite inconsistent in front of goal. West Ham will not defend as well as some units, but they are dangerous at home. The last six meetings between the two clubs have been evenly split, with each team taking a pair of victories and a pair of draws.
With so much at stake, and Chelsea trying to juggle league and European ambitions, I could see Tuchel being cautious with this one. West Ham will not want to lose ground, and may sit back a bit more than usual. This match has a draw written all over it, which is where I would put my money.
As for a secondary bet, I have been personally betting Lingard to score every single match over the past month, and with good reason. There’s not a player in the league in better form, and he has found the back of the net in seven of his 10 starts for West Ham, scoring nine goals in that span. Until he stops scoring, continue to ride the scorching red-hot foot and bet on him to do it again.