Chelsea will be bidding to return to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon when they welcome West Ham United to Stamford Bridge for a London derby.
The Blues are currently third in the table, five points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal, while West Ham occupy seventh position, five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Not too long ago, Chelsea looked to be absolute certainties for a top-four spot in the Premier League this season, but the Blues will now just be looking over their shoulder, as the gap from them to fifth-placed Arsenal is just five points, albeit with a game in hand on the Gunners.
Thomas Tuchel’s side also have a game in hand on fourth-placed Tottenham and two spare on sixth-placed Manchester United, so they are still in a very strong position to finish third, but the capital outfit will enter this match off the back of a 4-2 loss to Arsenal on Wednesday night.
The Blues booked their spot in the FA Cup final with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace last weekend, but they have lost three of their last six games in all competitions, including their last three at Stamford Bridge, two of which have been in the league against Brentford and Arsenal.
The off-the-field issues appear to be becoming a distraction, but the players must focus on what they can control this season, and they still have seven Premier League matches to play this season, in addition to taking on Liverpool in the FA Cup final next month.
Next up for the Blues is a trip to Man United on April 28, and a disappointing result against West Ham would lead to alarm bells being rung, as it is unthinkable for them to finish outside of the top four, having been in control of a Champions League position for much of the campaign.
West Ham United’s Aaron Cresswell celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 3, 2022© Reuters
West Ham are enjoying yet another brilliant Premier League campaign, currently sitting seventh in the table, two points behind sixth-placed Man United and five behind fourth-placed Spurs, who have a game in hand.
The Hammers are unlikely to be able to finish in the top four this term, but they can still secure a spot in next season’s Champions League by winning the Europa League, and the capital outfit will be taking on Eintracht Frankfurt over two legs in that particular competition, with the first leg to come next week.
West Ham have only won one of their last four in the Premier League, picking up just a single point from their last two matches, which came at home to Burnley last time out.
David Moyes’s side have some huge matches between now and the end of the season, facing Arsenal, Norwich City, Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion in their final four fixtures, with three of those matches likely to have something substantial riding on them.
West Ham have picked up 21 points from their 16 away Premier League matches this season, while they are aiming to make it a league double over Chelsea, having beaten them 3-2 at London Stadium back in December, while the Hammers last won at Stamford Bridge in November 2019.