Premier League Predictions: Week 11 – Huge weekend in title race as City face Arsenal before Chelsea vs Man Utd

Premier League Predictions: Week 11 – Another huge weekend of Premier League football is upon us. The international break is looming and so all 20 clubs will be hoping to head into the break in high spirits.

There are ten games to enjoy this weekend but there’s no doubt what the two standout fixtures are. Sunday will see a colossal double-header in the title race as Man City host Arsenal before Chelsea face Man Utd straight after. Spurs face Palace in the earlier game on Sunday, while Everton entertain Watford at the same time as the Chelsea vs Man Utd game.

Before all of Sunday’s action, there are six matches on Saturday. The weekend begins as Stoke welcome Leicester to the Bet365 Stadium at 12:30. Then on Saturday evening, Liverpool travel to West Ham looking to put pressure on the rest of the top six ahead of Sunday.

Read on for predictions to all ten of this weekend’s Premier League predictions: Week 11 isn’t one you want to miss…

Stoke 2-2 Leicester

The lunchtime kick off has the makings of a tight one. Both sides are sitting in and around mid-table, separated by just one point. It’s all very tight in the middle of the pack and there are plenty of goals flying in. We expect there to be goals in this one. Stoke and Leicester’s fixtures have seen the ball hit the back of the net a combined 59 times. The Potters won 1-0 last time out, while Leicester extended their unbeaten run to five in all competitions with a comfortable 2-0 win over Everton. Score draw.

Embed from Getty Images

Huddersfield 1-1 West Brom

Despite promising starts to the season, both Huddersfield and West Brom have tailed off in recent weeks. Huddersfield did shock everyone with that stunning win over Man Utd a couple of weeks ago, but that is their only win in eight in all competitions. They need to avoid defeat to West Brom here, and will fancy their chances at home. The Baggies aren’t playing well and haven’t kept a clean sheet in five. That’s uncharacteristic of a Tony Pulis side. This one might not be pretty.

Embed from Getty Images

Newcastle 3-0 Bournemouth

The belief around St James Park is there for all to see. Players and fans alike are behind Rafa Benitez despite some inconsistent form of late. The Toon Army come into this one having narrowly lost 1-0 away at Burnley and now a response is needed. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth have been out of luck for the majority of the season so far and are the second lowest scorers in the league. They lost to Chelsea last weekend and a trip up North probably wouldn’t have been the next fixture they would have picked given the choice. Newcastle to take all three points.

Embed from Getty Images

Southampton 1-1 Burnley

Burnley are flying high as they come into the weekend in seventh, level on points with Liverpool. Sean Dyche is further highlighting how good a manager he is and so there’s no wonder why he’s being linked with the vacant position at Everton. But for now, his focus will be on Burnley and getting as many points as possible every week. They will go to Southampton looking to hit them on the break and can expect to come away with a point. The Saints have been better in recent weeks but still lack a clinical edge. Both should score but the points look set to be shared.

Embed from Getty Images

Swansea 1-1 Brighton

Swansea are sitting just above the relegation zone. On just eight points so far this season there is reason for concern. However, they probably considered themselves unlucky last weekend to lose away at Arsenal having held the lead. That made it three losses on the bounce in all competitions and they’ve won just one in their last seven in the league. By stark contrast, Brighton are on a three-game unbeaten run. They are sitting 12th in the league but a loss here would show them just how quickly things can change as it would put 17th placed Swansea just a point behind them. An important fixture that neither can afford to lose.

Embed from Getty Images

West Ham 1-3 Liverpool

This is a big game for both sides. For West Ham, they need to show they are behind Slaven Bilic as he remains under intense pressure. For Liverpool, they need three points to make up ground on the sides above them ahead of Sunday’s games. West Ham carelessly threw away a win at Palace last week and had to settle for a point. They did beat Spurs in the League Cup before that, but in the Premier League, they have only one win in six. Liverpool have been inconsistent all season but looked good against Huddersfield last week. Expect them to prove too strong for a West Ham side that look to be in trouble.

Embed from Getty Images

Spurs 3-0 Crystal Palace

What a rollercoaster week it has been for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. The low of losing narrowly to Man Utd last weekend in what wasn’t a pretty fixture, to their midweek heroics of taking apart Real Madrid. But, and it’s a big but – Spurs must stay grounded. The media frenzy which has surrounded them in such a positive light will very quickly turn with a poor result this weekend. If results go Tottenham’s way they could be within five points of top spot as the other four in the top five go head-to-head. There isn’t much to say about Crystal Palace’s league form this season. They remain bottom despite picking up a point last weekend. If Spurs play at their usual tempo, expect goals and a relatively easy win.

Embed from Getty Images

Man City 4-1 Arsenal

At this stage of the season, it doesn’t look like anyone can stop Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s team are full of confidence and are brushing aside anyone in their way. Arsenal arrive at the Etihad as the underdogs but they are unbeaten in five in all competitions. The problem for Wenger’s men is they are still vulnerable at the back. They conceded two at Everton and then fell behind to Swansea last time out. Man City are ruthless and will exploit any weaknesses. Unfortunately, this looks like it will only end one way. And that’s with a convincing home win.

Embed from Getty Images

Chelsea 1-2 Man Utd

Chelsea’s title defence has been far from convincing. The Blues are unconvincing and only just overcame Bournemouth last weekend before being torn apart in their midweek clash in Rome. If reports are believed to be true, all is not well behind the scenes for Antonio Conte and his side. Key players are missing for both Chelsea and Man Utd but Jose Mourinho will be eager to get one up over his old employers. Don’t expect a repeat of this fixture from last year. United will be difficult to breakdown and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them take all three points back up to Manchester. Is the clock ticking for Conte?

Embed from Getty Images

Everton 2-2 Watford

Everton are in trouble. They’ve sacked their manager. They’ve spent a lot of money on a squad that haven’t clicked. And they’ve already been knocked out of Europe. They have lost five in a row in all competitions and Watford will arrive confident they can add to the Toffees’ woes. The Hornets have lost back-to-back league games for the first time this season but have enough about them to respond with a better performance at Goodison Park. The challenge for Everton is trying to rally and avoid dropping more points as a result of that Europa League hangover.

Embed from Getty Images

Advertisements

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Man Utd vs West Ham

Premier League: Manchester United vs West Ham

Old Trafford – Sunday, August 13 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Man Utd 30/100 – Draw 17/4 – West Ham 9/1

Man Utd vs West Ham: Preview

Manchester United open their Premier League season against West Ham on Sunday afternoon. The two sides have made some strong signings this summer and will be raring to go in the opening weekend’s final fixture.

Man Utd have spent big on bringing in Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic. Jose Mourinho knew he had to strengthen the squad after last year’s fifth-placed finish. The Red Devils did qualify for the Champions League as a result of their Europa League win.

But the aim will be the mount a serious title challenge this season. Mourinho has assembled a strong squad and knows his side need to get off to a winning start here.

United fell 2-1 to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday night. They put in a strong display, despite losing, and will be looking to hit the ground running against the Hammers on Sunday.

West Ham’s main summer signing will be a familiar face to the Old Trafford crowd. Former United striker Javier Hernandez has joined the Hammers for around £16m, in what is surely going to be one of the best deals of the window.

Slaven Bilic has also brought in Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Sead Haksabanovic. West Ham will surely improve on last season’s 11th-placed finish.

Embed from Getty Images

The Hammers couldn’t have been handed a much tougher opening game. West Ham will have to wait a month until their first home game of the campaign, with away trips to Southampton and Newcastle to come following Sunday’s game at Old Trafford. That’s due to the ongoing athletics World Championships currently taking place at the London Stadium.

These two sides met three times last season. The pair drew 1-1 in the Premier League at Old Trafford, before United won 4-1 in the League Cup three days later. The Red Devils then beat the Hammers 2-0 at London Stadium in January.

Man Utd vs West Ham: Team News

Manchester United have no new injury concerns heading into the new season. Jose Mourinho is expected to give debuts to Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku. Though Victor Lindelof might have to start on the bench, with Eric Bailly and Phil Jones available again after being suspended for Tuesday’s UEFA Super Cup game. Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are injured.

West Ham could welcome back Aaron Cresswell and Manuel Lanzini after recent injuries. But Slaven Bilic will be without Sofiane Feghouli, Cheikhou Kouyate, Diafra Sakho, Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio. Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez are expected to make their league debuts for the visitors.

Man Utd vs West Ham: Key Points

Man Utd’s preseason form: W/L/W/W/L

West Ham’s preseason form: W/L/D/D/L

Key Stat: Manchester United are unbeaten in their last nine home Premier League games against West Ham. Their last league defeat to the Hammers at Old Trafford came on the final day of the 2006/07 season.

Key Player: Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United’s big summer signing loves playing against West Ham. The powerful striker has scored in nine of his last ten games against the Hammers in all competitions.

Man Utd vs West Ham: Prediction

Manchester United 2-1 West Ham – United struggled for goals against teams like West Ham throughout last season. However, the signing of Lukaku is meant to fix those problems. Things are unlikely to be perfect for either side in the opener, but the hosts look primed to get off to a winning start. West Ham are a stronger side than they were last term. But the hosts have spent big. Expectations are high and they need to prove they can kick on, starting on Sunday.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Ham United vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – West Ham United vs. Arsenal

Venue: London Stadium – Saturday, December 3 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: West Ham 4/1 – Draw 16/5 – Arsenal 4/6

Match Preview

West Ham host Arsenal at the London Stadium on Saturday evening in the first ever Premier League London derby at the Hammers’ new ground.

Both sides were in EFL Cup action in midweek and both were dumped out of the competition – West Ham losing 4-1 away at Man United, while Arsenal suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Southampton.

But attentions now turn back to Premier League action and this is an important game for the Hammers who need to gain confidence – winning a big game like this could give them the lift they need.

Embed from Getty Images

Slaven Bilic’s side are just one point and two places above the drop zone after 13 games, following a disappointing start to the season, although the move to a new ground could be seen as a major reason for struggling.

West Ham recorded two consecutive wins in October, but have since gone on a run of four league games without victory (D2, L2), although they have stemmed the flow of defeats, losing just two of their last seven (W2, D3).

Arsenal returned to winning ways with a 3-1 success in a tricky game at home to Bournemouth last weekend and while they’ll be disappointed to lose in the EFL Cup in midweek, it was never a priority this season.

Embed from Getty Images

The Gunners are still yet to lose a league game since the opening day defeat to Liverpool (W8, D4) and will come into this game as favourites, given their opponents’ inconsistency.

Arsene Wenger’s side are also undefeated away from home in all competitions this season, so they’ll be hoping to continue their impressive run to keep in touch with the front-runners.

The last meeting between these two sides was a thrilling 3-3 draw at Upton Park back in April. West Ham have only beaten Arsenal once in their last 16 attempts in the league (D3, L12), although that did come at the Emirates last season when they won 2-0.

Team News

West Ham will be without Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio after both suffered groin injuries in midweek. Diafra Sakho (thigh) and Sam Byram (hamstring) are also out, while Andy Carroll and Arthur Masuaku could return to the squad.

Arsenal’s familiar problem with injuries is no different this season. They will be without Mathieu Debuchy after he suffered a hamstring injury last weekend, while Olivier Giroud (groin) is a doubt. Santi Cazorla has undergone ankle surgery and will be sidelined for a further three months. Hector Bellerin (ankle) remains out, while Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck (both knee) are long-term absentees. Mohamed Elneny was taken off early in midweek, reportedly suffering with illness, but will hope to be fit for action this weekend.

Key Points

West Ham’s last five: W/L/D/L/D

Arsenal’s last five: D/W/D/D/W

Key Stat: The Gunners are unbeaten in eight league visits to West Ham (W6, D2).

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – The Chilean doesn’t even seem to need to play well to produce results. He didn’t have his greatest game last weekend, yet he still netted twice and proved to be the difference for Arsenal. That’s the sign of a world-class player. His work ethic is above anyone’s and he could be crucial once again.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

West Ham 1-2 Arsenal – This is always a tough game to call. But Arsenal will sense an opportunity as Man City and Chelsea play each other, so there is a chance to make up some ground on at least one of them. The Hammers are still struggling to find their feet at the London Stadium and they could be exposed again if the Gunners perform how we all know they can on their day.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Crystal Palace vs West Ham

Competition: Premier League – Crystal Palace vs. West Ham

Venue: Selhurst Park – Saturday, October 15 – 17:30 BST (12:30 EDT)

Match Odds: Crystal Palace 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – West Ham 11/4

Match Preview 

Crystal Palace welcome London rivals West Ham to Selhurst Park this week for Saturday’s evening kickoff in the Premier League and we’re hoping it doesn’t disappoint.

With Palace unbeaten in their last five (W3 D2), they come into the game as strong favorites knowing that a win would move them above Manchester United, at least until Monday night.

Embed from Getty Images

With losses such as Yannick Bolasie and Mile Jedinak this summer, there were questions asked about how Palace can move forward. However, the signings of Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend have affirmed Palace’s ability to attract great players and they look to have recovered well from a poor start to the campaign.

West Ham on the other hand have strengthened and are yet to reap the rewards with marquee signing Andre Ayew ruled out of action since the opening day and Dimitri Payet struggling for consistent form. The team are really struggling to pick up and a lack of depth up front has left them without a settled striker.

Embed from Getty Images

After a very good season last year, fans were expecting better of the Hammers in their first campaign in their new home but if results do not turn around quickly, a managerial change would be seriously considered by the board.

The Hammers won the corresponding fixture 3-1 last October, before the two sides drew 2-2 at the Boleyn Ground later in the season. Palace have only won one of their last four home games against West Ham.

Team News

Crystal Palace are without new signing Jonathan Benteke, who has a knee injury, while Scott Dann, Papa Souare and Loic Remy are also sidelined through injuries.

West Ham have as many as nine first-team players struggling with knocks. Gokhan Tore, Sam Byram Arthur Masuaku, Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew and Diafra Sakho are all out. Jonathan Calleri, Havard Nordtveit and Aaron Cresswell are all slight doubts but could all be line to make the squad if passed fit.

Key Points

Crystal Palace’s last five: D/W/W/W/D

West Ham’s last five: L/L/L/L/D

Key Stat: West Ham have lost their last four away matches in the Premier League.

Key Player: Dimitri Payet – The French winger is in fine form after a goal during the international break followed a glorious goal at home to Bournemouth in his last league outing. This is a huge game for the Hammers and they will need a strong showing from their main man if they are to take anything from the match.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Crystal Palace 2-2 West Ham – This should be a closely contested affair as these London rivals will both see this as a chance for three points. West Ham need the result more, but Palace are in decent form. We’re going with a score draw.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Ham vs Southampton

Competition: Premier League – West Ham vs Southampton

Venue: London Stadium – Sunday, September 25 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET) 

Match Odds: West Ham 19/10 – Draw 23/10 – Southampton 6/4

Match Preview

West Ham face Southampton at the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon in what is a crunch fixture for the home side after a terrible start to the new season.

The Hammers have started life in their new home in underwhelming fashion. They did beat Bournemouth 1-0 but that was their only positive result of the season so far, having lost their other four fixtures.

Slaven Bilic is under pressure to get his side performing. They have lost their last two games 4-2 against Watford and West Brom – teams that the Hammers fans will feel they should be beating.

Embed from Getty Images

The visit of Southampton on Sunday will offer a stiff test but West Ham have to try and stay calm in what is a difficult run if they are to get back on track and out of the bottom three.

The Saints haven’t had the best of starts themselves but did win their first league game of the season last weekend, edging past Swansea 1-0.

Claude Puel’s men have lost both away fixtures so far and will need to work on their performances away from home if they are to challenge for European places once again this term.

Embed from Getty Images

They sit 14th going into the weekend but know that this is a winnable game and will likely attack the Hammers from the start, given their vulnerabilities at the moment.

This should be an entertaining clash between two sides that are desperate for points at this early stage.

Team News

West Ham are facing a real problem at left-back, with Arthur Masuaku ruled out for six weeks and Aaron Cresswell already sidelined too. Diafra Sakho, Andre Ayew and Andy Carroll are all still ruled out too so Slaven Bilic doesn’t have the strongest squad to choose from here. Alvaro Arbeloa will be pushing for his first league start at full-back.

Southampton have three played ruled out for this one, with Florin Gardos, Jeremy Pied and Sofiane Boufal. Charlie Austin is set to start in attack alongside Shane Long after having scored four in his last three.

Key Points

West Ham’s last five: L/W/L/L/L

Southampton’s last five: D/L/D/L/W

Key Stat: Slippery slope – West Ham have now lost three-straight league games for the first time since Slaven Bilic took over. They have not lost four on the bounce since April 2014.

Key Player: Michail Antonio – The West Ham winger has been the bright spark in a poor spell for the club so far, scoring five in his last four league outings. He netted his first ever Premier League goal in this fixture last season and will be looking to keep his great run going on Sunday.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

West Ham 2-2 Southampton – There is nothing to split these two sides going into Sunday’s game. Yes, Southampton have looked better over the last couple of weeks but they have lost both away games so far this term and don’t have a great record away at the Hammers. West Ham are in trouble if they fail to win this, with their new stadium proving to be a stumbling block so far. There should be goals but we see this ending all square.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs West Ham United

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. West Ham United

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Sunday, August 28 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Man City 2/7 – Draw 9/2 – West Ham 9/1

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome West Ham United to the Etihad on Sunday afternoon in what they will be hoping is a relatively straightforward tie.

City are top of the league on goals scored and we can expect them to be a fierce competitor for the Premier League title this season.

They come into this one off the back of their 4-1 thumping of Stoke last weekend, an impressive performance that had the real look of a Pep Guardiola side.

City will be keen to continue racking up the goals here in order to remain the early pace setters in the league this season. Home form is something Guardiola sides are renowned for, he will be expecting a tough tie but nothing less than three points from this game.

Embed from Getty Images

West Ham United bounced back from their opening day defeat to pick up a late win over Bournemouth in their first league game at the London Stadium last time out.

Slaven Bilic’s squad is stretched by injuries and fitness concerns to his key players even this early on in the season, he will be hoping to make a couple of extra signings before the window closes.

The Hammers have struggled away against Manchester City but did win in this fixture last season, they will be looking to frustrate their opponents in this tie but will be expecting to see little of the ball.

West Ham will be hoping to bounce back from being knocked out of Europe on Thursday with a positive result here, but the fans will be bracing themselves for a disappointing week as they take on arguably the strongest squad in the league.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Manchester City could be without up to five through injury as Vincent Kompany, Ilkay Gündogan, Leroy Sané are all out, while Bacary Sagna and Kelechi Iheanacho are both doubts. New signing Claudio Bravo isn’t expected to make his debut this week so we can expect Willy Caballero to return to the starting XI following what appeared to be Joe Hart’s farewell in the Champions League in midweek.

West Ham have eight injury concerns heading into this tie as Aaron Cresswell, Diafra Sakho, André Ayew and Andy Carroll are all expected to be out, while Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Sofiane Feghouli and Håvard Nordtveit are all doubts.

Key Points

Manchester City’s form: W/W

West Ham United’s form: L/W

Key Stat: Manchester City have lost only one of their last ten Premier League games against West Ham at home, winning eight and drawing one.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The City goal machine has scored 37 goals in 47 Premier League games against London teams. He has an eye for goal against West Ham with six in eight league appearances.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Manchester City 3-1 West Ham United – Manchester City should be taking all three points in the majority of their home games this season if we are to believe that Guardiola is the real deal and this game is no exception. West Ham United have a squad that is being stretched through injuries and fitness issues but will still be able to cause City problems here, just not enough to win the game.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Ham United vs Bournemouth

Competition: Premier League – West Ham United vs. Bournemouth

Venue: London Stadium – Sunday, August 21 – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: West Ham 17/20 – Draw 13/5 – Bournemouth 3/1

Match Preview

West Ham United make their long awaited London Stadium Premier League debut this weekend as they welcome Bournemouth, this should be an exciting day for the Hammers.

West Ham lost their opening game of the season in controversial fashion against Chelsea as they conceded a late Costa strike, who should have been sent off for a second bookable offence earlier in the game.

The Hammers struggled offensively in that tie, only touching the ball seven times in the opposition penalty area.

This is a chance for West Ham to give their fans a day to remember and get off to a winning start at their new home in the league, there will be a huge buzz around the ground as they hope to make it a fortress.

Embed from Getty Images

Bournemouth come into their first away game of the season having already conceded three goals. Their fans will be hoping their opening weekend loss to Manchester United isn’t a sign of what is to come.

Eddie Howe insists he is happy with his Bournemouth squad and isn’t planning to make anymore signings in the transfer window.

He will be hoping their ‘Sunday curse’ can come to an end here, as he has not yet seen his side win a Premier League game on a Sunday.

Bournemouth have work to do to improve, they haven’t kept a clean sheet in the league since March, a run which has stretched to 11 games.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

West Ham United five injury concerns ahead of this tie. Record signing Andre Ayew requires surgery after suffering a thigh injury on his league debut for the Hammers, while Manuel Lanzini, Aaron Creswell, Diafra Sakho and Sofiane Fegholi remain out.

Bournemouth have four injury concerns heading into this one as Junior Stanislas, Tyrone Mings, Emerson Hyndman and Baily Cargill are still unavailable.

Key Points

West Ham’s form: L

Bournemouth’s form: L

Key Stat: West Ham have scored at least one goal in their last 14 Premier League outings.

Key Player: Mark Noble – The Hammers captain struggled to influence the game in their league opener, he will be hoping to provide good balance to the midfield in this one and supply his creative teammates with the ball throughout.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

West Ham United 2-1 Bournemouth – West Ham to open their Premier League account at London Stadium with a win. Bournemouth will work them hard in this tie, but their Sunday struggles are set to continue.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs West Ham United

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea FC vs. West Ham United

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Monday, August 15 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 4/6 – Draw 29/10 – West Ham 4/1

Match Preview

Chelsea open their Premier League campaign and new era under Antonio Conte against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening.

The Blues have a lot to improve upon from their dismal 2015/16 campaign and Roman Abramovic has entrusted the experienced Conte to be the man to take them back to the top. He has a huge task on his hands here and a very tricky opener against a West Ham side who had a very impressive 15/16 season.

One of the first things Conte will need to change is Chelsea’s home form. Throughout many of the recent Premier League years they have turned Stamford Bridge into a fortress. But they have drawn eight of their last ten home league matches and need to get off the mark with a win here to show they are heading back to their best.

In what has been a relatively quiet transfer window, in terms of new signings for Chelsea, there is a lot of making up to do on the players behalf. Conte will not accept anyone not pulling their weight or not giving their all for the side. It will be an interesting opening few games for the Blues and they have to show their intent right from the off here.

Embed from Getty Images

West Ham United come into their opener with nothing to lose. They enjoyed a strong 15/16 campaign, where they ended up 7th on 62 points. Slaven Bilic has been moulding this West Ham side into exactly what he wants and they could even push for a higher place this season.

If West Ham can get off to a flyer and take all three points here they will be sending out a message to the rest of the league that they mean business yet again.

Worryingly for The Hammers, their form at the tail end of the season showed their vulnerabilities, as they conceded at least two goals in eight of their last ten league games. Bilic has been working hard to address this through preseason and we could see an even more resolute West Ham side this campaign.

West Ham haven’t won at ‘The Bridge’ in their last 11 attempts, a run stretching back to 2002. If they can bring that run to an end here; not only will their confidence be sky high, but they’ll have the added bragging rights of spoiling the party for Conte’s first home league game against their London rivals.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Chelsea have just two players expected to miss the start the season. Mikel John Obi is on international duty with Nigeria at the Olympics, while Kurt Zouma is still undergoing a lay off for his knee injury suffered in February last season. Antonio Conte has made just two signings as we head towards the tail end of the transfer window. N’Golo Kante will be expected to make his debut here. The summer saga of will-he-won’t-he leave regarding Diego Costa seems to have come to an end, which will more than likely see him as Conte’s first choice centre forward, so Michi Batsuayi will more than likely start on the bench. Many expected Conte to put his preferred 3-5-2 formation into practise throughout preseason but he opted for the similar 4-2-3-1 lineup in a number of their games, so it would be surprising to see him change to another formation for his first league game in charge.

West Ham United have had a relatively quiet summer transfer window. Manuel Lanzini made his loan move permanent and Bilic has bought in Sofiane Feghouli from Valencia as another notable addition to his squad. The standout signing of the summer for West Ham was Andre Ayew, joining for a club-record transfer fee from Swansea. He has history with causing the Chelsea defence a headache, so will be hoping to repeat that in this fixture and get off to a flyer with his new club. Lanzini is set be out for around five weeks, while Diafra Sakho and Aaron Creswell are also both out with injuries. Another addition to Bilic’s squad was former Chelsea player Gokhan Tore, but he is a doubt for this tie.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: N/A

West Ham United’s last five: N/A

Key Stat: Chelsea are undefeated against West Ham United in 19 of their last 21 games in all competitions.

Key Player: Eden Hazard – This is a huge season for Eden Hazard given how he underperformed throughout the 15/16 campaign. The Belgian had a good Euro 2016 on a personal level but was part of a national team who arguably should have done more. The former PFA Player of the Year needs to get off to a strong start to prove that last season was just a blip and show his worth and importance to this Chelsea squad.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Chelsea 2-2 West Ham United – Another strongly-contested fixture between these two sides is expected. Chelsea will be eager to start this season with a bang, but West Ham will have other ideas and they have a squad capable of causing the very best sides problems.

Are Spurs and West Ham right to be chasing this £40m-rated star?

London rivals Tottenham and West Ham look set for a transfer tug of war this summer, with young Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi the subject of strong interest from both Premier League clubs.

The 22-year-old Belgian striker has scored 22 goals with 10 assists in 49 appearances in all competitions for Marseille this season but is looking set to leave the French club this summer.

He may have signed a contract extension as recently as January, but Marseille coach Franck Passi has confirmed that it looks highly likely that Batshuayi will be plying his trade for new club by the time the new season begins.

Embed from Getty Images

“Everyone knows he’s leaving,” Passi has said. “I think it’s included in the budget that Michy will probably be transferred this summer.”

Marseille president Vincent Labrune spoke last summer about the striker’s value and said clubs would have to pay in the region of €50 million (£40 million) to secure his services.

“There is not a single top-15 world club that is not interested in Batshuayi, Labrune said a year ago.

“He is one of the most wanted players on the market. There were a lot of offers for him this summer, but he didn’t want to leave. He’s proving himself on the pitch, and if clubs want him then they are going to have to pay around €50m.”

But should West Ham or Tottenham be looking to break their transfer records to sign him?

Embed from Getty Images

In short, the answer is probably no. But that doesn’t mean he should be avoided either. While he has yet to shine on the biggest stages in football, Batshuayi’s potential cannot be questioned at this stage of his career.

The former Standard Liege forward netted 44 goals in 120 games during his time in Belgium before making the move to Marseille in 2014 – an average of 0.37 goals per game.

He has scored 32 in 77 matches since moving to France, netting an improved average of 0.42 goals per game over the past two seasons and has relished in the role of lone striker with L’OM this term.

A move to either Spurs or West Ham would not guarantee Batshuayi a spot as the team’s first-choice striker, with Harry Kane the main forward at White Hart Lane and Andy Carroll the Hammers’ current lead frontman.

Embed from Getty Images

But that won’t necessarily affect Batshuayi. He has only enjoyed one season as the main forward at any club to this point, while he is far from first choice on the international scene with fellow Belgian forwards Christian Benteke, Romelu Lukaku and Divock Origi all fighting for minutes too.

He patiently played second fiddle to Andre-Pierre Gignac to great effect last season, netting nine goals in 897 minutes of league play – an average of a goal every 99 minutes – and used his reduced playing time to adapt to a new league.

Batshuayi would need to do something similar if he does indeed move to the fast-paced Premier League in the next couple of months, rather than being thrust in as a club’s star striker from the word ‘go’.

Spurs appear to be frontrunners for his signature at this stage, with the lure of Champions League football and Mauricio Pochettino’s reputation for developing young talent both huge positives for the player.

Embed from Getty Images

Though a move to West Ham as they prepare for life in the Olympic Stadium will also excite the youngster, who would be able to link back up with former teammate Dimitri Payet with a move to Slaven Bilic’s side.

He has been Marseille’s shining light in what has been a disappointing season but being surrounded by better players would surely see his goalscoring talents continue to evolve – something he would get with a move to either London club.

In today’s market, £40 million is not quite as staggering a fee as it probably should be. But it would still be a huge amount for either Spurs or West Ham to invest in a young striker who has no Premier League experience.

WATCH: Michy Batshuayi’s highlights (via ScoutNationHD on YouTube):

There are several upsides to Batshuayi’s game, with his potential seemingly huge. But if Marseille demand anything in excess of £30 million, there will be an enormous amount of pressure instantly thrust onto the young Belgian’s shoulders, as well as the football club that signs him.

The striker looks set to play his final game for Marseille in the French Cup final against PSG next weekend but where he will be next season remains to be seen.

Do you think Michy Batshuayi is worth £40 million? Which club would he suit better – West Ham or Tottenham?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: West Ham vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – West Ham United vs. Manchester United

Venue: Boleyn Ground – Tuesday, May 10 – 19:45 BST (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: West Ham 21/10 – Draw 23/10 – Man Utd 13/10

Match Preview

West Ham host Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground for the final time on Tuesday night in what is sure to be a special night for the East London club. But sentiment cannot get in the way too much with both clubs fighting for European football in their penultimate game of the season.

The Hammers will want nothing more than to win in their final game at their famous old stadium before moving over to the Olympic Stadium in time for next term. A special atmosphere is expected with the home fans set for an emotional evening.

But there is still an important match to be played. West Ham fell 4-1 at home to Swansea on Saturday, ending a ten-game unbeaten run in the league and dropped down to seventh in the table as a result.

Embed from Getty Images

They know a top six place will guarantee European football next term and that is something they will be desperate to achieve after a successful campaign. Three points on Tuesday would move them back into sixth ahead of their final day trip to Stoke.

But Manchester United will arrive at the Boleyn Ground desperate for all three points themselves. Louis Van Gaal’s side are two points off Manchester City in the final Champions League spot and know this game in hand is crucial.

A win would move the Red Devils into fourth ahead of the final day, on which they host Bournemouth while City travel to Swansea.

Embed from Getty Images

United are unbeaten in four in the league and have won three of those games, conceding just one goal in that time. A strong finish to the season had boosted morale and they will be out to spoil the Hammers’ party here.

History favours United in this fixture, with the Red Devils unbeaten in 14 league outings against West Ham (W11 D3).

The Hammers have not beaten United at the Boleyn Ground since 2007 but Tuesday night would be a magical time to end that record as far as the home support is concerned.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

West Ham have just the one injury concern ahead of this special game. First-choice goalkeeper Adrian will miss the rest of the season and so Darren Randolph will keep his place between the sticks. Andy Carroll is expected to lead the attack once again.

Manchester United will hope Anthony Martial can shake off a hamstring problem in time for this one. He miss Saturday’s game with Norwich and is a huge doubt. Matteo Darmian picked up an ankle injury in that game and won’t feature, while Bastian Schweinsteiger and Will Keane also remain out. Marouane Fellaini is suspended, while Luke Shaw and Phil Jones are not yet match fit. Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Daley Blind will expect to return to the starting lineup.

Key Points

West Ham’s last five: D/D/W/W/L

Manchester United’s last five: L/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: This will be West Ham’s 384th and final Premier League match at the Boleyn Ground. They will take their overall points haul from the stadium to 601 with a victory here (W167 D97 L119).

Key Player: Wayne Rooney – It will be a special night for the entire West Ham team but also for Manchester United captain Rooney. He has scored more goals against the Hammers than any other United player (12 in 17 matches) and has netted seven of those at the Boleyn Ground – the stadium in which he happened to make his England debut as a 17-year-old in 2003. He will be out to spoil the West Ham party on Tuesday evening.

Score Prediction

West Ham 2-2 Manchester United – This should be a special night of Premier League football for so many reasons. Both need three points from Tuesday’s game and so an exciting and attacking match is expected. Both sides will be confident of finding the net but it seems impossible to split them. The only top half side to have beaten West Ham at home this season is Leicester, while United have only won one of five trips to London so far. A loss would be a major blow for either and with so much to play for, a rather unhelpful score draw seems likely.