Chelsea entertain West Ham on Monday night to complete the latest round of Premier League fixtures and a home win looks the way to go.
The Blues’ recent performances may have come in for some criticism of late, with pressure building on boss Maurizio Sarri, but at home they remain strong and can move into the top four with three points against the Hammers.
Chelsea have nine wins in their last 12 games at Stamford Bridge across all competitions and seven of those successes have been coupled with clean sheets, including Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Brighton.
West Ham have been woeful on the road since Christmas with six defeats in their last seven away games. The Hammers have failed to score in five of those fixtures and may well draw another blank in this London derby.
With a Europa League trip to Slavia Prague to come on Thursday, it remains to be seen what team Sarri will send out for this match-up but Higuain may well get the nod after being left on the bench in the win over Brighton last time out.
Higuain’s return of three goals in 11 games isn’t particularly encouraging but he remains a top striker.
West Ham have at times struggled when defending set pieces this season, and Higuain is a forward who can take advantage of any lapses at the back in those situations.
Pablo Zabaleta has started the last two games for West Ham and could be in for a tough night if he keeps his place against Chelsea.
The veteran Argentine full-back has lost a bit of pace and against Chelsea’s quick forwards may well have to take one for the team by picking up a yellow card at some stage in this encounter.
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