Chelsea put on a show on their trip to Thessaloniki in the Europa League on Thursday. They beat PAOK 1-0 but could have easily scored four more on the night. This result extends their winning run at the start of the season to six games. The Blues are yet to drop a point in the league as well and will hope to keep up the momentum when they travel to London Stadium, in a mini-derby in the capital city.
The Hammers, who lost each of their first four league games, finally got off the mark last week at Goodison Park. Manuel Pellegrini finally got his system right, which would give them a host of confidence going into this game. Chelsea cannot afford to drop points and here is the predicted lineup Maurizio Sarri might field for this London derby:
In early team news, the Blues are still without Emerson Palmieri and Marco van Ginkel, both of whom are long-term absentees. Mateo Kovacic missed the last couple of games with an illness but might be ready for this weekend. Pedro picked up a niggle in the game against PAOK but could yet make the squad for this tie.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
Kepa Arrizabalaga has hardly put a foot wrong since he landed in England. He will keep his place under the bar in this game against West Ham. Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz, as a pair, have conceded just four goals so far in the league this season. They are expected to retain their place in the starting XI but have a tricky test in Marko Arnautovic waiting for them at London Stadium.
Marcos Alonso has been the most consistent full-back in the league and would surely be a threat for the Hammers defence. He will start at left-back while Cesar Azpilicueta would add some mettle to the backline on the right flank.
Jorginho did not last the full game against PAOK but should back in the first team in the no.6 role for this trip to West Ham. He will be supported by N Golo Kante, who is still adjusting to his new, slightly advanced position.
Mateo Kovacic is expected to be back fit for this weekend, and he will look to add some creativity to the Chelsea midfield.
Alvaro Morata did no favours to his reputation in the Europa League tie. Olivier Giroud should replace him for this game against the Hammers. Eden Hazard, who was rested for the mid-week tie, should be back on the left flank while Willian could get his chance from the start, as Pedro continues to nurse his shoulder injury.
Here is how they might line up:
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