By Neil Leverett and Niall Clarke
- Gameweek 6 in the Premier League sees two London derbies take centre stage
- A rejuvenated West Ham United host Chelsea at the London Stadium in Game of the Week
- Fulham entertain Watford, as Tottenham Hotspur look to avoid a fourth-straight loss against Brighton at the AMEX
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – West Ham United look to build momentum and end Chelsea’s 100% record after five games, in our Premier League game of the week.
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Game of the Week: West Ham United vs. Chelsea (Sunday, 13:30)
Niall: Table-toppers Chelsea travel to the London stadium to face West Ham on Sunday, with hopes of maintaining their 100% start to the season.
The Blues have arguably been the most impressive team five games into the new Premier League season. They have averaged 71% possession, have completed more passes than any other team in the league, and have scored 14 goals in that time.
Maurizio Sarri has certainly made Chelsea a more attacking side, and that has given Eden Hazard more freedom going forward. The Belgian scored his second hat-trick for the club last weekend against Cardiff and will be the biggest threat for the away side.
West Ham made a terrible start to the season, losing their opening four games. However the Hammers are now on the board after an impressive 3-1 win at Everton, a victory that could be huge for their confidence going forward.
The defence overall looked more solid and the front three of Felipe Anderson, Marko Arnautovic and Andriy Yarmolenko were a constant threat against the Toffees. Chelsea for all their style do not look solid defensively and that could give the Hammers’ front line a chance to inflict some serious damage going forward.
Chelsea have looked like genuine title contenders so far this season, but this could be their toughest match to date. If West Ham can remain solid at the back then their front line will cause problems, but the host’s consistency is a worry and Chelsea could run out with the win in the end.
Prediction: West Ham United 1-2 Chelsea
Neil: Had this game taken place a week ago, one could confidently predict the outcome of this an away win, but after West Ham finally showed their true colours under Manuel Pellegrini, this London derby is the east of the capital is now a far more intriguing affair.
The visitors however, are a far taller task for the Hammers to overcome but like Everton last week do have chinks in the armour, particularly in defence. But at the other end of the field, can West Ham keep the red-hot Hazard in check here? It will take some doing.
West Ham will be desperate to have Arnautovic passed fit for the game, as together with Yarmolenko, the Austrian has now completely re-invented his game as a lone forward and could give Chelsea the Blues this weekend.
For me, that could determine the outcome of the game; If the hosts have a full-strength XI I will edge the draw. If not, Chelsea could make it six wins out of six, ahead of next weekend’s massive game at home to Liverpool.
Prediction: West Ham United 2-2 Chelsea
Neil’s One to Watch: Fulham vs. Watford (Saturday, 12:30)
As two sides looking to bounce back from defeat last weekend, this one could be quite the way to kick off the weekend’s action at Craven Cottage.
The Cottagers have been a little up and down thus far this season, but as they return to home comforts this Saturday, boss Slavisa Jokanovic will be eyeing a first win in three.
Conversely to last season, Watford have shown their mettle on the road this term – winning away at struggling Burnley – but this will likely be a more severe examination of Javi Gracia’s side and their potential European aspirations.
I can see both sides scoring here, but it is the form of Aleksandar Mitrovic that could grab the points for the west Londoners. The Serbian has four goals in five games this term and this is the sort of game to flourish in. I believe he will, and give his side the win.
Prediction: Fulham 2-1 Watford
Niall’s One to Watch: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday, 17:30)
Once again, Spurs feature for another gameweek, but for the first time under boss Mauricio Pochettino, the visitors are approaching something close to crisis point.
It has been a week to forget for Spurs. After being outplayed by Liverpool on Saturday, Pochettino’s men let a 1-0 lead slip with five minutes to go against Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday. This is the worst run of form since the Argentine took over and there seems to be pressure mounting on the Spurs steward for the first time.
Brighton staged a comeback of their own on Monday against Southampton, earning a point from 2-0 down – for the second time in successive league games. The Seagulls return to their fortress of the AMEX where they have proven very difficult to beat. Chris Hughton’s side have already upset Manchester United here and they will be eager to do the same to Tottenham on Saturday.
It is fair to say visitors have not been themselves this season. Their pressing has been laboured and a lot of their star players have yet to kick into form. There has been concerns about Harry Kane’s fitness from the media and fans, so it will be interesting to see if the English striker is rested for the trip to Brighton. Son Heung-min is back from international duty and Lucas Moura has arguably been Tottenham’s best player this season so there are quality players to fill that void.
Brighton will work hard and be tough to break down as usual, and this could be the best time to face Tottenham. Spurs are struggling for form at the moment and pressure is mounting. It may not come as a shock to see Brighton get a result.
Prediction: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League Gameweek 6 Game of the Week takes place at the London Stadium, as West Ham face Chelsea on Sunday afternoon at 1.30pm BST
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