Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs. West Ham

Premier League leaders Chelsea host high-flying West Ham United in the early kickoff on Boxing Day with the Blues looking to continue their home winning streak to stay ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table.

West Ham have been excellent this season and sit in fourth place going into Friday’s fixture and the Hammers have lost just one of their last 11 in the league.

But a trip to Chelsea is never an easy task. Jose Mourinho’s side have not lost at home all season and have won all eight Premier League games at Stamford Bridge so far, conceding just three times at home.

Chelsea’s home record: Played 8 – Won 8 – Drawn 0 – Lost 0

These two met in the same fixture last season back in January and Mourinho accused Sam Allardyce’s side of playing “football from the 19th century” after a 0-0 draw, but the West Ham manager has skipped forward in time and his side are playing a very modern style of football.

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He’s talked up his team’s chances ahead of this one by saying: “We’ll see what century we’re in.” It’s a London derby so expect it to be feisty.

West Ham’s away record: Played 8 – Won 3 – Drawn 3 – Lost 2

Eden Hazard picked up a knock in Monday’s 2-0 win at Stoke and is a doubt for the game against West Ham, while Mark Noble and James Tomkins are both doubts for the Hammers.

Chelsea have only conceded two goals in their last six in the league, and they both came in the away defeat to Newcastle. The Hammers have not failed to score away from home though and something has to give.

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This should be one of the most intriguing games in years between these London rivals as they both sit at the top end of the Premier League table.

Expect the unexpected in the early game on a bumper Boxing Day of action!

Chelsea’s last five: D/W/L/W/W

West Ham’s last five: W/W/W/D/W

Key Player: Nemanja Matic – The Chelsea midfielder has been incredible all season and the side have not lost when he plays. He’ll need to dominated the midfield once again in what should be a physical encounter.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 West Ham United – The hosts to keep their place at the top of the Premier League with a ninth home win of the season.


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