Mar 3, 2017 14:52:46
Everything you need to know ahead of Monday's Premier League match at the London Stadium as the Blues travel to face the Hammers.
Antonio Conte will face off against his friend Slaven Bilic for the third time this season in Monday night's match at the London Stadium – with both managers having each notched a 2-1 win against each other this season.
Chelsea won the league match between the two teams on the opening day of the season as Diego Costa's last minute winner made it 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. West Ham knocked Conte's side out of the EFL Cup with a 2-1 win in October – which came during the Blues' 13 match-winning run in the Premier League.
The EFL Cup game was marred by violence in the stands, but police appear to have improved the crowd control at West Ham's new stadium, as Chelsea look for another win to maintain their 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
Eden Hazard is a doubt for Chelsea's game against West Ham after being kicked by an unnamed player in Wednesday's training session. Conte confirmed in Friday's press conference that he may not feature in the match on Monday evening.
“Nothing important [injury-wise]. Apart from a little problem for Eden, for Hazard. He got kicked but nothing serious. The rest of the team are in good fitness and working very well.
"The kick was in training, on Wednesday. I don't remember this [who kicked him, but it was] nothing at all serious.”
Chelsea have endured few injury problems this season and the entire squad is expected to be available for the game at Stamford Bridge.
David Luiz is playing through a minor knee injury but has been available for all of Chelsea's big clashes. Conte, however, brought him and Marcos Alonso back against Swansea City at the weekend after he rested them in the FA Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers a fortnight ago.
Charly Musonda and Kenedy have returned to the club after being recalled from their loan moves at Real Betis and Watford respectively, and will provide cover for the current first team for the remainder of the season.
Chelsea have no players suspended for the match and have had few issues with discipline all season. John Terry has been their only player to be sent off, in the FA Cup against Peterborough United.
In 2017 the rules altered slightly regarding suspensions for an accumulation of yellow cards, with 10 bookings now being required to acquire a ban. David Luiz and Pedro are three bookings away from a two-match suspension as they are now on seven for the campaign.
N'Golo Kante has six bookings in domestic competitions, while Nemanja Matic, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas all have five.
CHELSEA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Conte is once again set to use his tried and tested first XI. The Blues are having success by making fewer rotations than their rivals while playing in a 3-4-3 formation.
In terms of personnel, Pedro and Willian have been battling it out for a place up top, while Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas compete in central midfield. There are signs that Fabregas is beginning to win the battle over the Serbia international, but Conte may opt for the more defensive-minded Matic on Monday.
Diego Costa will lead the line as he competes with the likes of Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez and Everton's Romelu Lukaku for the Premier League Golden Boot.
WEST HAM TEAM NEWS
West Ham United will see the return of their key striker Andy Carroll for the clash at the London stadium, but will miss Michail Antonio who is suspended due to his two yellow cards in his side's last match against Watford.
Antonio Conte's former Juventus defender, Angelo Ogbonna, also missed out due to a knee injury while Diafra Sakho will see a specialist over his back injury. Bilic confirmed his injury problems ahead of Chelsea's visit on Thursday.
"Just Michail who is suspended who is out [for Chelsea], along with Sakho and Ogbonna," Bilic said. "Sakho will see a specialist in France to see if he can push on with his training. He could be available in 3-4 weeks."
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
The Hammers eliminated Chelsea from the League Cup at the fourth round stage this season; winning 2-1 at the London Stadium.
Antonio Conte has lost two of his three away London derbies in the Premier League, losing out to Arsenal in September and Tottenham in January, while beating Crystal Palace in the other game.
Cesc Fabregas recorded his 102nd Premier League assist in what was his 300th Premier League game last weekend. He needs one more to move outright second ahead of Frank Lampard (also at 102).
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
The game is due to kick off at 20:00 on Monday night and it will be broadcast on SkySports in the United Kingdom.