Once again, Chelsea host West Ham in another London Derby on Sunday. While Chelsea are unbeaten at home against West Ham in their last 12 meetings at Stamford Bridge, the Hammers were able to spring the upset back in December with a 1-0 win when these two teams met at the London Stadium.
Cracks may have begun to appear in Chelsea’s season on that day, but those cracks were split open last week after a two-goal blitz in the second half gave Tottenham a victory at Stamford Bridge and all but ended Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season.
Despite the result last week, Chelsea still remain in the FA Cup, and the Blues must regain some sort of confidence this week against a team whose form isn’t much better at the moment.
In fact, both sides enter this match with just two wins in their last six Premier League fixtures, but West Ham remain firmly in a battle to stave off relegation amidst a toxic atmosphere at the London Stadium, but the Hammers 3-0 win over Southampton has given them a bit of confidence, and they’ll be hoping to take points at Stamford Bridge.
But a lot of what happens on Sunday will come down to Chelsea’s state of mind. The FA Cup is still there to be won, and the attitude of the players and the manager on Sunday will give everyone a pretty good indication as to where everyone’s priorities lie.
There are a couple injury concerns, as Pedro, Davide Zappacosta, and Thibault Courtois all face late fitness tests before Sunday’s match, but largely speaking, Chelsea will be fielding their strongest possible team.
Should the Blues lose on Sunday, serious questions will have to be asked about both this team and its manager for the remainder of the season. Even if Chelsea win, there seems to be a giant cloud of unrest that isn’t going to be getting smaller any time soon. A trophy at the end of the season might not even help the cloud move.