West Ham United-Chelsea Preview

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·4 min read
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Frank Lampard has no doubts over Timo Werner, despite the Chelsea forward having struggled for goals as of late.

Germany international Werner, a high-profile signing from RB Leipzig, has not scored for eight matches across all competitions.

Werner has been deployed on the left of a front three, with Lampard – whose side have lost their last two games – preferring Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham in a central role.

The Chelsea boss, however, does not believe his position is an issue.

"Timo for Leipzig and Germany played in lots of roles, so it is not a problem for him to be used there. He can be used across the front three," Lampard said ahead of Monday's clash with West Ham. "I have players who can play on both sides. Not all, like Hakim [Ziyech] on the right, but Timo and Christian [Pulisic] can play left and right. It can give the opposition a problem. I like to have the option to change it at times.

"With Timo, any goalscorer wants to score regularly but must have the mental toughness and confidence to go through periods. That is every striker. It is no problem. He needs to keep getting in those areas and the goals will come, no doubt."

Two defeats on the spin to Everton and Wolves have left Chelsea six points off leaders Liverpool, and just two above West Ham in what is a congested table.

West Ham had to settle for a draw against Crystal Palace last time out, but David Moyes has no issues with the commitment of his team heading into a busy Christmas period.

"We can't demand much more off the boys because they're playing great overall. It's getting them back to playing well because we've played really well up to now," he said.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chelsea – Kai Havertz

Another player Lampard has had to defend of late is Havertz, who also joined Chelsea from the Bundesliga this season. He failed to impress against Everton and did not create a chance against Wolves, and the Germany prodigy will be hoping to turn that form around over the festive period.

West Ham – Declan Rice

Rice has often been linked with a move to Chelsea, where he came through in the youth ranks, and the England international has been a key figure for West Ham this term. Lampard has been impressed, with the Blues head coach saying: "He is a fantastic player for West Ham and England – fair play. It's a good story because with a lot of those stories, it shows a strength of character."

KEY OPTA FACTS

• Chelsea have lost just one of their last 14 Premier League home games against West Ham (W9 D4), though it was in this exact fixture last season (0-1). They have not lost back-to-back home league games against the Hammers since February 1996.

• West Ham won home and away against Chelsea in the Premier League last season, and are looking to win three in a row against the Blues in the top-flight for the first time since a run of four between September 1972 and March 1974.

• When scoring at least once, Chelsea have lost just one of their last 38 Premier League home games (W27 D10), with that defeat coming at the hands of Liverpool last season (1-2). The Blues are unbeaten in their last 16 league games in which they've scored at Stamford Bridge (W14 D2).

• Chelsea have lost their last two Premier League games, with the Blues last losing three in a row in the competition back in November 2015.

• West Ham have gained five points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, including their 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace last time out. The Hammers only won five points from behind in the whole of the 2019-20 campaign.

• Lampard is looking to avoid becoming the first Chelsea manager to lose his first three league encounters with West Ham, while only three managers have lost their first three Premier League games against the Hammers: Danny Wilson (1997-98), Sean Dyche (2014-16) and Ralph Hasenhuttl (2018-19).

• Moyes has never won a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge (P15 D7 L8) – the only instance in Premier League history of a manager taking charge of more games at a stadium without winning is Moyes himself at Anfield (16 games).