The Premier League always produces nail biting contests and we've got a cracking London derby as Chelsea host West Ham at London Stadium. Would West Ham miss the services of Declan Rice in the midfield? Can Chelsea find what they were looking for in Murdyk? There are many questions to answer for both sides.

These two always produce fireworks when they meet. Chelsea will be looking to continue their resurgence under new boss Mauricio Pochettino by picking up where they left off before the World Cup break.

But David Moyes' Hammers are buoyant after a strong start themselves and will fancy their chances of an upset across the capital. Should be a belter under the lights on Friday to get us back into the Premier League groove.

Hammers Host Blues in Feisty Derby Clash

West Ham vs Chelsea is scheduled for a 4.30pm BST kick-off time on Sunday 20 August, 2023 in London Stadium. This promises to be a tense tactical battle between the progressive coach and the wily veteran.


Chelsea's New Era Under Pochettino

It's very much a new era at Chelsea after all the disruption of last season. With the Todd Boehly revolution well underway, the Blues turned to former Spurs boss Pochettino to lead them into this new chapter.

Chelsea has done a total revamp to the previous side and is looking to start fresh this season with some impressive signings.

Highly-rated young French center-back Benoit Badiashile came in from Monaco to freshen up the defense. He is certainly going to give good company to the father figure of Thiago Silva.

Further forward, Mykhailo Mudryk arrived for mega money from Shakhtar as an exciting wide option, while Argentina's World Cup winning midfield duo of Enzo Fernandez and Carlos Alcaraz also rocked up at the Bridge.

Pochettino still has last season's standouts like James and Silva to call on too though. And I'd expect new boy Mudryk to spark an instant understanding that could light up the Premier League.

After all the turmoil of the Abramovich era, Chelsea finally look to be building something sustainable under their new ownership. The Pochettino-Lampard double act has everyone genuinely excited to see what they can achieve.

Hammers Flying High Under Moyes

It's been a similar story of squad evolution rather than revolution for West Ham this summer. David Moyes has once again worked shrewdly to identify targets that can elevate his tight-knit group.

French defender Nayef Aguerd came in early for big money to reinforce the backline, while the addition of box-to-box midfielder Edson Alvarez adds some tenacity in midfield. Midfield is one area where West Ham would give more focus just because of the fact that they had to let go of their midfield maestro Declan Rice who owned the space.

But the marquee arrival is Lucas Paqueta, signed for a club record fee from Lyon to be the creative fulcrum. The silky Brazilian showed his class at the World Cup and can take the Hammers to the next level.

Further forward, Danny Ings provides an experienced head up top to compete with Antonio and Scamacca for the striker spot. This looks like an incredible attack that could break through any defense.

But despite the new faces, Moyes' tried and trusted core remains. Rice has stayed put and is as important as ever anchoring midfield, while Bowen and Soucek remain key figures driving West Ham on.

The solid foundation Moyes has built means the Hammers should avoid the inconsistency that has plagued them. With Paqueta pulling the strings, this settled West Ham side have top six ambitions.

Predicted Lineups


Robert Sanchez, Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva, Lewi Colwill, Reece James, Enzo Fernandez, Conor Gallagher, Ben Chilwell, Nicolas Jackson, Mykhailo Mudryk

West Ham United 

Areola, Emerson, Aguerd, Zouma, Coufal, Paqueta, Soucek, Benrahma, Fornals, Bowen, Antonio.

Key Battles at London Stadium

  • Thiago Silva vs Gianluca Scamacca

This clash between the evergreen Silva and West Ham's promising striker Scamacca catches the eye.Italian Scamacca is strong, skilful and clinical - a real all round forward. But he faces a master defender in Silva, whose composure, positioning and reading of the game is almost unmatched. If the experienced Brazilian can keep Scamacca quiet, it blunts West Ham's main goal threat.

  • Jorginho vs Lucas Paqueta

The midfield battle will be vital, and this duel between two Brazilian schemers could be telling. Jorginho keeps Chelsea ticking over with his crisp passing and game management. But compatriot Paqueta is a wonderfully balanced midfielder who can spray passes from deep or drive forward to attack. Whoever gains the upper hand in this technical battle will help their side control the game.

  • Ben Chilwell vs Jarrod Bowen

Pacy winger Bowen's direct dribbling and intelligent movement poses problems for any defense. But flying full-back Chilwell has the engine to get up and down the left flank to contain Bowen while also offering an outlet going forward. This speed battle out wide could be a game changer. If Chilwell can nullify Bowen, he cuts off West Ham's supply line to Scamacca.