The opening fixtures of this new Premier League season come to an end with what is set to be a feisty London Derby between Chelsea and West Ham at Stamford Bridge.
Pep Guardiola has already taken his bow in English management and now it’s time for Antonio Conte to take centre stage as he takes charge of Chelsea for the first time in a major competition.
Last season saw their opponents West Ham take 4 points from 6 in their two encounters and were it not for some suspect refereeing decisions in West London then the Hammers would have ended up doing the double over their more illustrious cross city rivals.
Slaven Bilic will look to go one better Tonight and aim for West Ham to get their own season off to a flying start. Record signing Andre Ayew is expected to make his debut after his £20m signing from Swansea
For Chelsea it’s pretty much the same faces on the pitch than last season’s awful defence of the Premier League title, the hope now is for former Italy manager Conte to revitalise what is undoubtedly a talented group of players.
Much will depend on whether or not Eden Hazard can recapture the form of two seasons ago which played a massive part in winning the title that season. The Belgian international saw a huge slump in form last time around with his campaign only really starting in April when Chelsea’s season had already ended.
For West Ham they would have perhaps liked to have made a couple more additions in the Summer especially up front. Andy Carroll will be charged with being a nuisance in that aging Chelsea back line.
We won’t see all the fruits of Antonio Conte’s hard work over the Summer but we should get an insight as to how Chelsea are going to look over the next 9 months. I reckon Chelsea will burst West Ham’s bubble and pick up all three points this evening.