Another full Premier League programme this weekend and our first port of call is East London as the two clubs playing this lunchtime will be looking to earn local bragging rights as West Ham entertain Chelsea in what is set to be a feisty derby fixture.
It may not be the biggest of the derbies played this weekend but that is not to say that it will not be hotly contested as the Hammers look for their first win under David Moyes while Antonio Conte’s men will be looking for all three points in the hope that Manchester City finally drop some points a day later.
David Moyes’ West Ham outfit were incredibly unfortunate not to have at least earned a point when they traveled to The Etihad last Sunday. After taking something of a shock lead against the footballing juggernaut which is City as of late they then had to make do with the home side laying siege on Adrian’s goal.
And they nearly withstood that siege to at least earn a point but their bubble would be burst with just eight minutes remaining when David Silva prodded home a lofted pass from Kevin De Bruyne. Heartbreak for West Ham who very nearly upset the apple cart.
Adrian featured due to the fact that Joe Hart was ineligible because of the terms set out in his loan move last Summer and with his performance has more than likely done enough to stay in the side this lunchtime especially as David Moyes failed to confirm the return of the England goalkeeper between the sticks today.
Whoever does get the nod is going to have their work cut out as Chelsea have found their groove once again, they have picked up 16 out of a possible 18 points and that recent run of form sees them as the best team not based in Manchester at present.
They played in the lunchtime slot last weekend and although they were given a slight scare by Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle after Dwight Gayle’s early equaliser they then went up through the gears to secure all three points thanks to a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard earned the plaudits seven days ago with the Belgian scoring a brace in the win over Newcastle and if we were to be hyper-critical then the Belgian could and probably should have at least gone home with the match ball after being foiled by Karl Darlow on a number of occasions.
That however should take nothing away from the performance of Hazard who will have already sent out an early warning sign to England fans after the two nations were paired together in the World Cup draw last Friday, that said I think it is fair to say that everyone is aware of his talents anyway.
Those talents failed to unlock a stubborn Atletico Madrid to the point where they would earn the necessary win that would see them finish top of their Champions League group. They could only make do with a point and it needed an own goal from former Manchester City defender Stefan Savic to help them out also after going behind to a second half Saul Niguez effort.
That draw has in theory given them a tougher draw in the Round of 16, but for every Barcelona waiting in the wings there is also a Besiktas so Antonio Conte will no doubt be waiting nervously over the weekend to see who the West London outfit are paired up.
But even with Champions League dreams in mind, he certainly won’t be taking his eyes off of the task in hand this lunchtime. That being maximum points and hoping that things go there way tomorrow, not only that but a win for City would see them surpass Chelsea’s efforts of 13 straight Premier League victories.
Chelsea can only do their bit and the likes of Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata will be licking their lips at the prospect of going up against the Premier League’s weakest defence at present. With that in mind I cannot see anything other than an away win.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
Time for another raft of very scientific Premier League polls now
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) December 8, 2017