West Ham travel to Chelsea on Sunday afternoon and there is good value for Sam Allardyce’s men to grab an unexpected draw.
As ever when Chelsea are at home – regardless of who it is against – the Blues are the team expected to pick up the points. Let’s face it though, they are rather unpredictable this season to say the least.
In Europa League action on Thursday night, there could be some tired legs in the Chelsea team and with a packed fixture schedule, how much thought would they have given Sunday’s game?
With an FA Cup replay against Manchester United to come and the latter stages of a Europa League campaign, this home fixture with the Hammers might be an opportunity to rest a player or two.
It also might see them switch off mentality. They had to focus massively on Thursday and could be – just a little bit – drained for the visit of West Ham.
The Hammers need to start quickly, get stuck in, not give Chelsea a second on the ball and have the home crowd rattled.
After all, with the Chelsea faithful far from convinced by the Rafa Benitez reign, it seems unlikely they would take too well to losing early on against their London rivals. The start is crucial in any game, but this one particularly.
As you might expect, Chelsea are the 2/5 favourites to grab the first goal of the game, while West Ham are available at 3/1. This is tempting though, with the home side perhaps needing a wake up call.
When it comes to the outright winner odds, Chelsea again are at 2/5, while you can get 17/2 on West Ham. Quite simply, people aren’t expecting anything other than a home win.
They weren’t expecting anything other than an away win when these two teams met in December either were they? Especially when Juan Mata opened the scoring.
West Ham battled back to win 3-1 though in probably the highlight of the season so far for the Hammers. Everyone raised their game and Chelsea had no answer.
Can Allardyce’s men repeat this type of display on Sunday? Well, Chelsea’s home performances against Fulham, QPR and Southampton suggest they could be slightly vulnerable.
It is all about West Ham’s mentality of course, but if they show no fear, they are more than capable of getting a valuable point – available at tempting odds of 4/1.
Say it quietly, but the last time these two teams met on a Sunday, it was a 1-1 draw. For this outcome, you can get 11/1.
Read into that what you will, but West Ham certainly have more chance of a positive result than people are making out.
Match odds: Chelsea – 2/5, Draw 4/1, West Ham 17/2
Written by Thomas Rooney from Footballtips.com.