Ben Cleminson previews this weekend’s big London and Manchester derbies
AFTER a 3,000-mile round trip to Ukraine this week, Jose Mourinho will be happy his side only have to travel across the capital tomorrow.
Not that it’s a match that he’ll be particularly looking forward to.
It’s true that the Blues have regularly come out on top in this fixture – they’ve won four and drawn one of the last five home and away, without conceding a single goal.
However, Mourinho’s underperforming superstars are going to be strongly tested in front of a hostile crowd, by a West Ham side playing out of their skins.
Chelsea, sitting 12th in the table, are 10 points off top spot and six behind the fourth-placed Hammers.
Claiming the scalps of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City shows just how impressive a start it has been for Slaven Bilic since he replaced Sam Allardyce.
His team are clearly unfazed by big reputations and supporters are daring to dream in their final season at the famous Boleyn Ground.
Dimitri Payet has been integral to his side’s success. The Frenchman has been one of the top flight’s best performers, having already claimed five goals and three assists.
His form is in marked contrast to Chelsea’s creative genius, Eden Hazard, who is yet to score and has only managed two assists.
At 33/1, Payet could be a decent bet to snatch the Belgian’s PFA Player of the Year crown.
With the Hammers’ most impressive form on the road, where they have taken 13 of their 17 points, now is the time to put on a show in front of their fans at home.
At 14/5 with Sportingbet, I don’t see a downside to backing Bilic’s boys.
A point at Dynamo Kiev was a perfectly respectable result in the Champions League for Chelsea on Tuesday night – they probably deserved to take all three – but it means that Mourinho has overseen just one win in five games in all competitions.
I’m happy to sell their supremacy at 0.5 with Sporting Index so that we profit in the event of a draw or the predicted home win.
Draw 12/5 (Sportingbet)
Sell total goals 2.65 (Sporting Index)