Advertisement

Chelsea finally resembling a team – as long as owners don’t rip it up again

Cole Palmer celebrates scoring against West Ham
There are signs of a team emerging from all the chaos - Reuters/David Klein

The frustration for Chelsea will be there are only three more games of the season remaining, but finally there are signs of a team emerging from all the chaos.

It may yet be enough for Chelsea to snatch European qualification, but the bigger picture might be even more encouraging if the club’s owners do not decide to rip everything up for a third successive summer.

Chelsea may have been battered by Arsenal, but the last four home games should really have shown co-owners Behdad Eghbali, Todd Boehly and Jose E Feliciano that head coach Mauricio Pochettino is on to something.

This thrashing of West Ham United was Chelsea’s fourth successive Stamford Bridge win, during which Pochettino’s side have kept three clean sheets and scored 17 goals.

“Always, it’s a process that takes time,” said Pochettino. “You never know if it will take one month, six months or one year. The most important thing is they start to feel and live like a group of players, creating all the links. I’m so pleased about that because we are part of this process helping them to grow and be more mature. It is only the first step, but it’s a massive step.”

Injuries have undoubtedly held Chelsea back over the course of the season and yet the absence of midfielder Enzo Fernandez may well have helped Pochettino settle on something lately.

Chelsea have kept their three home clean sheets without Fernandez. In his absence, Conor Gallagher has partnered Moises Caicedo in the centre of midfield, Cole Palmer has played as a No 10 and Noni Madueke has started on the right.

Palmer, Gallagher and Madueke all scored against West Ham, while Caicedo has been one of Chelsea’s best players in recent weeks and what has so often looked like a group of confused individuals suddenly resembles a team – and a pretty decent one at that.

Caicedo beats Lucas Paqueta to the ball
Caicedo (right) has been one of Chelsea's best players in recent weeks - Getty Images/Justin Setterfield

The most obvious example of the way in which Chelsea appear to be coming together was for the fourth goal, when, sent through, Madueke squared the ball for Nicolas Jackson to tap into an empty net rather than going for glory himself. Jackson grabbed his second and the home side’s fifth thanks to a superb Caicedo pass, VAR correctly overruling the assistant referee’s offside flag.

“We have been confident but now we’re starting to put everything together, being unselfish and working as a collective,” said Madueke. “The last two games have shown that. Two clean sheets and seven goals. It’s a credit to the whole club.”

It already seems a long time ago that Madueke and Jackson were squabbling over a penalty against Everton.

“I expected he [Noni Madueke] would pass because we are close friends and team-mates,” said Jackson. “It was a very good assist from him.”

Jackson has scored 13 Premier League goals, none of which have come from the penalty spot, in his debut season and his improvement under Pochettino has been evident.

Nicolas Jackson scores Chelsea's fifth goal
Nicolas Jackson scores Chelsea's fifth goal - Getty Images/Jacques Feeney

Palmer continues to be the star of the show for the Blues, for which Pochettino deserves credit, while Madueke has now proved a major problem for Aston Villa, Tottenham and West Ham.

The impact of Trevoh Chalobah should not go unnoticed, either. Outstanding against Tottenham in the centre of defence, Chalobah moved to right-back on Sunday.

Not only was he defensively sound, but it was Chalobah’s long pass from which Madueke was freed on goal for Chelsea’s fourth. The 24-year-old is an underrated talent.

The concern remains, of course, that Chelsea could sell Gallagher and Chalobah and dispense with Pochettino this summer which would eradicate the recent signs of progress.

Quite simply, that would be madness and it remains to be seen whether or not European qualification would offer guarantees in terms of Pochettino’s future with Chelsea now seventh in the table.

The Stamford Bridge crowd chanted Thiago Silva’s name at full-time, but it feels like Chelsea can contemplate a future without him with others – such as Benoit Badisahile – beginning to find their feet again.

Jarrod Bowen hit the crossbar three times for West Ham. But this was another damaging defeat for manager David Moyes, with Julen Lopetegui keen to replace him at the London Stadium.

Some visiting supporters decided enough was enough after Madueke’s 36th-minute goal and many of those who hung around long enough to boo West Ham off at half time, then left when Jackson scored Chelsea’s fourth.

There were more empty blue seats than people in the away end for most of the second half and the writing now looks to be on the wall for Moyes, who has watched his team concede 70 League goals this season.

Moyes must know his time is nearly up and will leave West Ham with his head held high. Chelsea’s owners will need to find a damn good excuse if they really are considering another summer of change.


Chelsea vs West Ham: As it happened


04:02 PM BST

FT: Brighton 1 Aston Villa 0

Nine minutes of added time , and five in the first half means fans at the Amex got their money’s worth.  But it’s all over and a disappointing Villa cannot clinch a Champions League place today even if Spurs lose at Liverpool.

Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa concedes a penalty against Brighton & Hove Albion's Simon Adingra
Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa concedes a penalty against Brighton & Hove Albion's Simon Adingra

03:56 PM BST

FT: Chelsea 5 West Ham 0

One Step Beyond rings around Stamford Bridge, and that performance was another step in the right direction for Pochettino’s team. A dynamic team performance from Chelsea, who looked like scoring every time they moved beyond the halfway line in the first half. Cucurella and Madueke excellent, and Palmer was on the scoresheet again. With Man Utd and Newcastle due to play each other, Europa League qualification is still a possibility. West Ham and Moyes will surely part ways in the coming weeks.

Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fifth goal
Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's fifth goal

03:51 PM BST

90 minutes: Chelsea 5 West Ham 0

Cole Palmer is taken off and gets his standing ovation from the Chelsea fans. Not much longer to endure for West Ham fans to endure.


03:50 PM BST

GOAL! Pedro scores rebound from saved penalty (Brighton 1 Villa 0)

Adingra was fouled by Konsa, and Brighton were awarded a penalty in the 86th minute. Pedro’s penalty was saved by Olsen who was so nearly the hero as he deputises for Martinez, but the rebound lopped up for Pedro to nod home.

This scoreline should give Spurs some encouragement at Anfield.

Joao Pedro had a perfect record from penalty kicks for Brighton before today.  Robin Olsen spoiled that but Pedro scored from the rebound anyway, the first goal scored by a Brighton player since Danny Welbeck’s opener at Liverpool back in March.

Brighton and Hove Albion's Joao Pedro scores the opening goal of the game during the Premier League match
Brighton and Hove Albion's Joao Pedro scores the opening goal of the game during the Premier League match

03:46 PM BST

86 minutes: Chelsea 5 West Ham 0

“We want six!” is now the chant from Chelsea supporters, but Jackson decides to turn and keep possession and have a breather.


03:44 PM BST

82 minutes: Chelsea 5 West Ham 0

“West Ham get battered, everywhere they go” sign the home fans, who are enjoying a day in the sun after much discord through the middle of the season. Chelsea just have to be professional and keep the clean sheet now. Caicedo almost plays Chelsea into trouble with a bad backpass.


03:41 PM BST

GOOOAALL! Jackson’s goal stands

The Chelsea striker looked off at full speed, but replays showed that he timed his run to perfection. Jackson finished calmly and that is his 13th league goal of the season. West Ham have shipped five.

Nicolas Jackson of Chelsea scores his team's fifth goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United at
Nicolas Jackson of Chelsea scores his team's fifth goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United at

03:38 PM BST

78 minutes: Chelsea 4 West Ham 0

For the third time this afternoon, Bowen has hit the crossbar. He is probably the only West Ham player who can hold his head high. West Ham have had chances, but their problems have been at the other end. Jackson has the ball in the net at the other end...but the flag goes up for offside.

VAR is checking, he might well be onside....


03:33 PM BST

73 minutes: Chelsea 4 West Ham 0

Areola saves from Mudryk after another flowing Chelsea move. Chelsea could well have scored another goal or two in this game. West Ham have not been able to manage defensively at all.

Down at the Amex, VAR has just chalked off a Pascal Gross goal for a tight offside. That game remains Brighton 0 Aston Villa 0.

Brighton fans reduced to watching replays on their phones, with no clue as to what is going in the stadium.

Brighton fans
Brighton fans

03:30 PM BST

70 minutes: Chelsea 4 West Ham 0

James Ward-Prowse with another effort from a free-kick, but this over goes just over.

As was the case against Spurs in midweek, Marc Cucurella is tucking into midfield whenever Chelsea have the ball. The defence then becomes a back three, with Cucurella part of the midfield. It’s what Manchester City used to do all the time, and what Arsenal usually do under Mikel Arteta.


03:25 PM BST

65 minutes: Chelsea 4 West Ham 0

Chances for a fifth Chelsea goal but Soucek makes a block from a corner. West Ham break forward after good work from Kudus and Antonio’s shot is deflected behind for a corner. Some welcome respite.

West Ham's manager David Moyes reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham United
West Ham's manager David Moyes reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham United

03:20 PM BST

61 minutes: Chelsea 4 West Ham 0

West Ham starting to move to damage limitation mode. Chelsea have taken all kinds of flak this season, much of it warranted, but there are green shoots emerging for next season. Jackson, Madueke and Palmer are a dangerous trio, and even Cucurella is starting to play with confidence.


03:16 PM BST

End if surely nigh for Moyes

West Ham United fan displays a banner referencing West Ham United manager David Moyes
West Ham United fan displays a banner referencing West Ham United manager David Moyes

03:14 PM BST

55 minutes: Chelsea 4 West Ham 0

Petrovic called into action to push Ward-Prowse’s free-kick over the bar. The Chelsea goalkeeper always had it covered. From the West Ham corner, Thiago Silva clears with a booming header.


03:13 PM BST

53 minutes: Chelsea 4 West Ham 0

Chelsea’s goal difference is now nine better than Man Utd, which could prove important with the teams level on points in the race for a European place. United still have four games to play, starting with Palace away on Monday. Chelsea have the chance to add another couple to that tally before this game is over.


03:12 PM BST

50 minutes: Chelsea 4 West Ham 0

“We’ve got the ball!” chant the West Ham fans sarcastically. David Moyes’ team look ready for the beach. They have Man City on the final day of the season, so Arsenal fans will be struggling for confidence in a favour.


03:09 PM BST

GOOOAAAL! Jackson scores Chelsea’s fourth

“Lets try and win the second half, lads.”

Well that strategy has worked well for West Ham. Inside four minutes of the second half starting, Jackson has scored Chelsea’s fourth goal.

Many of those West Ham fans who had stayed are now flooding towards the Stamford Bridge exits. There are more empty blue seats than people in the away end after Nicolas Jackson’s goal.

Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson (second left) scores his sides fourth goal of the game
Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson (second left) scores his sides fourth goal of the game

02:55 PM BST

Villa second-best at Brighton but game remains goalless

Villa look nothing like a team chasing a Champions League place, with only one shot at goal in the entire first half. Exhaustion after their exertions against Olympiakos in midweek, perhaps?

Brighton’s early attacks have slowed in frequency and pace since a promising opening 20 minutes, but it took an excellent block by Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen to prevent Pascal Gross giving the Seagulls what would have been a deserved lead in first-half added time.

Brighton & Hove Albion's Simon Adingra in action against Villa
Brighton & Hove Albion's Simon Adingra in action against Villa

02:54 PM BST

Kalvin Phillips out for the season with calf injury

Kalvin Phillips is set to miss the rest of the season with a calf injury in a massive blow to his hopes of making England’s squad for the European Championship.

Phillips had just recovered from a short spell out with a hamstring problem suffered last month during a training session but had recovered and was back in West Ham’s matchday squad before injury struck again.

He is now expected to miss the final two games of the season and was not in David Moyes’ squad for the clash against Chelsea this weekend. It would bring an end to a loan spell from Manchester City that has not worked out for the 28-year-old.

After failing to break into Pep Guardiola’s team at the Etihad Stadium, his six-month move was aimed to get him first-team football and put him in contention for the Euros, with Gareth Southgate keeping faith in him up to the November internationals. With squads expanded to 26, it offered hope to players such as Phillips who were down the pecking order.

West Ham's Kalvin Phillips
West Ham's Kalvin Phillips

His move has seen him start three Premier League games and make seven other sub appearances, with an error leading to a goal on his debut and a sending off against Nottingham Forest.

His hamstring injury came in a challenge during training and ruled him out of West Ham’s Europa League quarter-final against Bayer Leverkusen, which saw them lose to Xabi Alonso’s team.

Southgate did not include him in the March internationals, with Kobbie Mainoo selected in his defensive-midfield position and making a strong claim for a place on the plane to Germany next month.

Phillips still has four years left on his contract at City and Guardiola has often praised his attitude, although has never given him a run in his team. His only two starts this season before leaving were in matches away from the Premier League, against Newcastle in the EFL Cup and in a dead-rubber at Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.


02:52 PM BST

Signs of sustainable progress for Chelsea?

Chelsea came into this game on a run of eight wins in their last 10 league matches at home, and that good home form has very much continued here. They are first to every ball and creating chances from set pieces, counter-attacks and against a lower bloc. It does feel like momentum is building under Pochettino (although, knowing Chelsea, this could change at any moment). West Ham are all over the place. Shambolic.

Noni Madueke of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's third goal with teammate Trevoh Chalobah during the Premier League match
Noni Madueke of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's third goal with teammate Trevoh Chalobah during the Premier League match

02:50 PM BST

HT: Chelsea 3 West Ham 0

The West Ham fans who did stay in their seats after Chelsea’s third goal booed their team off at half-time.

West Ham United's Edson Alvarez (centre left) shows his dejection after Chelsea scored their third goal of the game
West Ham United's Edson Alvarez (centre left) shows his dejection after Chelsea scored their third goal of the game

02:48 PM BST

45 minutes: Chelsea 3 West Ham 0

They are into three minutes of stoppage time, and the busy Cucurella wins a free-kick. Ogbonna, Paqueta and Emerson have all been booked for West Ham now, to make matters even worse for Moyes’ team.


02:45 PM BST

43 minutes: Chelsea 3 West Ham 0

West Ham’s players just trying to limp to half-time, but they have just hit the bar for the second time in the half. Once again, it was Bowen from a Soucek cross. From Chelsea’s counter-attack, Jackson wriggles out of a tight spot and wins a free-kick in a dangerous position.


02:40 PM BST

39 minutes: Chelsea 3 West Ham 0

Gallagher hits the bar! Chelsea oh so close to a fourth, and then Gallagher found himself in a promising counter-attacking position after a loose Bowen pass. West Ham look to have given up the ghost. This could get messy.

This is turning into a humiliation for West Ham and that third goal, from a simple set piece, was truly horrible from a defensive perspective. Moyes is furious on the touchline.

West Ham United's Emerson Palmieri reacts after conceding their second goal
West Ham United's Emerson Palmieri reacts after conceding their second goal

02:38 PM BST

West Ham fans have seen enough

West Ham fans started to walk out of their seats after Noni Madueke scored Chelsea’s third. Early half-time pint, or early journey home?

West Ham United fans leave the stands after conceding their third goa
West Ham United fans leave the stands after conceding their third goa

02:37 PM BST

GOOOAAALL! Madueke gets a deserved goal

West Ham are falling apart. Thiago Silva heads back across goal and Madueke was unmarked from the corner he won for the simplest of finishes. Chelsea flying and will be closing the gap on Newcastle and Man Utd.

Noni Madueke of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United
Noni Madueke of Chelsea celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United

02:36 PM BST

34 minutes: Chelsea 2 West Ham 0

All too easy for Chelsea to play out and carry the ball into space again. Madueke with a strike from an inside right position and his deflected shot flies just wide of the post. Everyone has been waiting for signs of development in these Chelsea youngsters, and Madueke has kicked on over the last few weeks.


02:33 PM BST

31 minutes: Chelsea 2 West Ham 0

This game does little for those West Ham fans who want to argue in Moyes’ favour. Chelsea moving the ball well and have runners down both flanks, and West Ham are struggling to keep up.


02:31 PM BST

GOOOOAAAL! Gallagher with another goal

Chelsea have carried a threat throughout this game and they have their second. Palmer whips a pass into the feet of Madueke, and the ball breaks off Ogbonna into the path of Gallagher and he buries it on the volley. Chelsea in control now.

West Ham are playing a disjointed, erratic brand of football and they are paying the price for it. It’s all too open, with too many spaces in midfield. Palmer’s pass is fizzed into Madueke, and then spins up for Gallagher to finish in style.

Chelsea's Conor Gallagher scores their second goal
Chelsea's Conor Gallagher scores their second goal

02:28 PM BST

26 minutes: Chelsea 1 West Ham 0

Still lots of cut and thrust in the game at Stamford Bridge, but the open feel ought to suite Chelsea more than West Ham. Caicedo wants a free-kick for a Paqueta foul but the referee plays on and West Ham win a throw-in high up the pitch.


02:26 PM BST

A much-improved Brighton so far (Brighton 0 Villa 0)

Brighton have had five efforts on goal in the opening 20 minutes against Villa, one of their bogey sides, two on target. That already feels like more attacking intent than they showed in the entire game away to Bournemouth a week ago.

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins and John McGinn in action with Brighton & Hove Albion's
Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins and John McGinn in action with Brighton & Hove Albion's

02:24 PM BST

23 minutes: Chelsea 1 West Ham 0

Chelsea are looking likely with every attack, West Ham hanging on by their fingernails in their own penalty area. Pochettino will be anxious to see his team score the second goal in this period. Good defensive work from Antonio to pounce on a Mudryk pass and then bring the ball forward.


02:21 PM BST

21 minutes: Chelsea 1 West Ham 0

West Ham with a wasted free-kick which is clipped straight down the throat of Petrovic, before Chelsea break forward again through Madueke. There are surely more goals in this game. Jackson then heads wide after another lively Chelsea attack.


02:19 PM BST

A man in form

Cole Palmer has now scored in six of Chelsea’s last seven home games at Stamford Bridge. Strangely, he still hasn’t scored away from home in 2024.

Chelsea's Cole Palmer celebrates scoring their first goal
Chelsea's Cole Palmer celebrates scoring their first goal

02:19 PM BST

18 minutes: Chelsea 1 West Ham 0

Chelsea looking dangerous again down their right side, with a shot looping up off Soucek and behind for a corner. Another chance for the home team...but Chalobah heads straight at Areola when unmarked. An open game.


02:17 PM BST

16 minutes: Chelsea 1 West Ham 0

West Ham go close to a quick reply! Bowen gets in front of Cucurella from a corner, but his powerful header crashes back off the bar with Petrovic rooted.


02:16 PM BST

GOOOAAALL! Palmer gives Chelsea the lead (Chelsea 1 West Ham 0)

Interplay down the Chelsea right, Madueke’s cross comes off Jackson and falls for Palmer, and his shot had too much power for Areola. Despite getting a hand to it, he could not keep it. Chelsea in front after 15 minutes.

It has been a bright start by Chelsea and they deserve their lead. A typically assured finish by Palmer. He has now scored 16 home goals in the Premier League this season, which equals the club record held by Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.

Chelsea's Cole Palmer scores their first goal
Chelsea's Cole Palmer scores their first goal

02:15 PM BST

14 minutes: Chelsea 0 West Ham 0

No goals at Stamford Bridge, and also no goals at the Amex where Brighton have had the better of things in the early exchanges. Chelsea are also enjoying a strong spell, with Cucurella popping up all over the pitch,


02:12 PM BST

11 minutes: Chelsea 0 West Ham 0

Areola makes the first save of the game from Jackson after a quickly taken Chelsea free-kick. Former Chelsea man Zouma gets his head to the corner. Chelsea keep the pressure on, and Palmer picks out the run of Thiago Silva but Areola sticks out a leg to save again.


02:08 PM BST

8 minutes: Chelsea 0 West Ham 0

Alvarez getting through plenty of defensive work already, cutting out an attempted Palmer through ball. West Ham looking to play forward at every opportunity so far, they have the attacking talent to keep Chelsea honest. West Ham with some possession but Gallagher reads Bowen’s pass.


02:06 PM BST

6 minutes: Chelsea 0 West Ham 0

Gallagher and Mudryk probing around the West Ham box after a neat pass forward from Caicedo but Alvarez makes a timely challenge. Jackson possibly had the chance to take a shot on but his touch let him down.

Then Madueke is loose on the ball, and West Ham play forward early for Bowen but Cucurella gets back to defend. Then Kudus looks dangerous but the move results in just a corner after the ball bounces off Thiago Silva. Petrovic punches away.

Chelsea's Mykhaylo Mudryk (left) and West Ham United's Tomas Soucek
Chelsea's Mykhaylo Mudryk (left) and West Ham United's Tomas Soucek

02:04 PM BST

3 minutes: Chelsea 0 West Ham 0

West Ham with a bright enough start in the first few minutes. Cucurella is once again inverting into midfield for Chelsea, just like at Villa Park and against Spurs. Soucek plays the ball forward towards Antonio but the ball bounces through for a Chelsea goal kick.


02:01 PM BST

Another famous face at Stamford Bridge

Greg Rusedski is at Stamford Bridge and sitting with some of Chelsea’s board members. Will it be game, set and match to the Blues today? I’ll get my coat...


02:01 PM BST

KICK OFF!

The games are under way at Stamford Bridge and the Amex. Updates as we get them.


01:59 PM BST

De Zerbi speaking to Sky

We are in an unlucky period. We are playing without two or three important players, especially our fullbacks so we cannot attack in the same way but hopefully we’ll find other ways to score.

Villa are a good time with a different style, who are having a good season but we still want to keep the ball and play positively.


01:44 PM BST

Villa manager Unai Emery talking about the top four race

We are fighting with Tottenham for the Champions League. It is an amazing season if it finishes like that. We are growing up here as coaches, workers, players, supporters. We have to be demanding and trying to get stronger in everything. We have to create a strong mentality to keep for a long time.


01:41 PM BST

Another player West Ham might struggle to keep this summer...Lucas Paqueta

West Ham United's Lucas Paqueta during the warm up before the match
West Ham United's Lucas Paqueta during the warm up before the match

01:25 PM BST

It feels like a long goodbye for Moyes

One win in eight league matches has not helped the cause of David Moyes, who has never won an away Premier League match against Chelsea. Moyes has done a fabulous job at West Ham and will be remembered as one of their best ever managers, but it does increasingly feel like a parting of the ways makes sense this summer. West Ham are considering alternative candidates, with Julen Lopetegui chief among them.


01:19 PM BST

Chelsea’s injury problems abating at long last

Chelsea’s squad looks significantly stronger than it was in midweek, when they impressed in victory over Tottenham Hotspur. Axel Disasi, Raheem Sterling, Christopher Nkunku, Levi Colwill and Malo Gusto are all fit enough to make the bench. The return of Nkunku, especially, will be a source of excitement for the home supporters. He last played on 10th February.


01:18 PM BST

No great surprises with the team news

Pochettino sticks with the same front six who helped vanquish Spurs. The only change comes at the back, with Thiago Silva returning and Chalobah shuffling over to right-back in place of Gilchrist. I suspect we will see Chalobah, Silva and Badiashille forming a back three when Chelsea attack, with Cucurella moving into midfield.

West Ham’s quartet of Paqueta, Kudus, Bowen and Antonio can cause any team in the league problems, but they look vulnerable in the full-back positions. A midfield pairing of Alavrez and Soucek is going to struggle to retain possession.


01:11 PM BST

Chelsea vs West Ham team news

Chelsea XI: Petrovic, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella, Caicedo, Gallagher, Madueke, Palmer, Mudryk, Jackson

Subs: Disasi, Sterling, Bettinelli, Nkunku, Colwill, Gusto, Casadei, Deivid Washington, Gilchrist

West Ham XI: Areola, Coufal, Zouma, Ogbonna, Emerson Palmieri, Soucek, Alvarez, Bowen, Lucas Paqueta, Kudus, Antonio

Subs: Fabianski, Johnson, Cresswell, Ward-Prowse, Cornet, Ings, Earthy, Casey, Mubama


01:09 PM BST

Brighton vs Aston Villa team news

Brighton XI: Verbruggen, Veltman, Igor, Dunk, Gross, Joao Pedro, Gilmour, Webster, Buonanotte, Welbeck, Adingra

Subs: Enciso, Moder, Barco, Baleba, Steele, Fati, Offiah, Peupion, O’Mahony

Aston Villa XI: Olsen, Diego Carlos, Konsa, Torres, Digne, Bailey, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Rogers, Diaby, Watkins

Subs: Cash, Alex Moreno, Chambers, Lenglet, Gauci, Duran, Kesler-Hayden, Iroegbunam, Kellyman


12:59 PM BST

Best betting sites

Having a bet on today’s match? First take a look at the offers on these best betting sites.


12:36 PM BST

Chelsea still have a chance to (almost) rescue their season

It was not so long ago that Chelsea were knocked out of the FA Cup shortly before being tonked 5-0 at Arsenal, but there is still a chance they could salvage a respectable league finish from the season.

Four points and very creditable performances against Aston Villa and Spurs kept Mauricio Pochettino’s team in the hunt for a European place, which could be aided by Manchester United’s tricky run-in. United have trips to Crystal Palace and Brighton and tough home games against Arsenal and Newcastle. Chelsea, three points behind United, play West Ham and Bournemouth at home either side of trips to Nottingham Forest and Brighton. Victory over West Ham at Stamford Bridge would move Chelsea to within two points of Newcastle in sixth, the final Europa League place. Seventh would mean Conference League football.

Chelsea have been very inconsistent this season, but their underlying data has always been pretty solid and that is perhaps starting to bear fruit. Their good football - such as the three showings against Man City across league and cup - has been of a higher level than a side such as United have produced all season. Pochettino certainly believes they deserve more.

“If we talk about performances, I think for sure we are in the top four,” said Pochettino. “The results and competing is different and I agree that (at the start of the season) we didn’t compete well. But talking about performances I think we are in the top six for sure.”

Chelsea are hoping Levi Colwill and Christopher Nkunku could return from respective toe and hamstring injuries. West Ham have little to play for, but will want to give David Moyes a strong send off in what are likely to prove his final games in charge. Moyes’ team have not kept a clean sheet in 15 Premier League games.

Full team news on the way shortly, and we will also have updates from Nick Szczepanik at Brighton vs Aston Villa.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.