Chelsea will have to keep their hopes of a top-four finish alive by beating West Ham United on Sunday. The two sides are set to clash at Stamford Bridge as they try to fulfil their own seasonal agendas.
David Moyes and his men are nearing a relegation drop to the Championship and are facing a lot of unsettlement issues among the fanbase.
The scenes at the London Stadium during the 0-3 loss to Burnley was distressing. Riots, pitch invasion, fights in the stands are not what the ownership had in mind when they shifted their operations to the brand new stadium.
The Hammers are held off the relegation scraps by 5 points, being placed in the 14th spot of the points table. Their fighting chance of surviving the drop to the Championship can be snatched away with a loss on Sunday.
Antonio Conte is in no mood to entertain any more slip-ups. His job is very much on the line and bridging the 8-point gap is high on his priority list.
The Italian does have a chance of winning silverware this season through the FA Cup but still have to overcome Southampton in the semi-final stage.
No midweek European competition fixtures will help him expend all his resources towards the immediate cause.
Moyes did manage to get the better of the former Juventus boss with a 1-0 showing earlier in the season. If United get the double, they will have done it after almost 15 years, something the Chelsea faithful are not too keen on.
The West London side has lost 5 of their last 7 Premier League fixtures and would not mind the bounce back to winning ways. Here is how they might lineup for this tie.
Thibaut Courtois could mark his return to the starting XI after missing the last match with a hamstring injury.
The Belgian should be behind the defensive trio of Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.
N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas are expected to pair up in the holding midfield roles with Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses on the flanks, the latter on the right.
Pedro’s return is also anticipated but not to the starting lineup right away. He could make a substitute appearance if required in the second half.
Eden Hazard and Willian will have to fill up the wing positions with Alvaro Morata up top. The Spaniard did manage to score Chelsea’s only goal in the 1-3 loss to Tottenham.