Michael Oliver takes the lead on Sunday

Chelsea vs West Ham United news: Europa League focus could cost West Ham injury

A 4-2 defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday night means the Blues have scored four goals in each of their last two home games at the top level – on top of falling to a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League.

Thomas Tuchel described losing the last three home games as “unacceptable” but refused to point the finger at individuals.

The third-placed hosts have four games left to qualify for the Champions League next season and also face Liverpool in the FA Cup final next month.

David Moyes’ men will have benefited from seven days without a game as they make the short journey through the capital, but will be keeping an eye on their Europa League semi-final first leg clash against Eintracht Frankfurt next week. They are also facing a worrying defensive injury crisis.

The Hammers are currently in seventh place with 52 points – five points from Tottenham in their last Champions League place after playing one more game.

When: Sunday, April 24, 2022 (2:00 PM BST)

True: Stamford Bridge

How to watch?: Sky Sports Premier League

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Who is the referee for Chelsea vs West Ham United?

Michael Oliver will take charge on Sunday after overseeing the FA Cup semi-final between heavyweights Manchester City and Liverpool last weekend.

The 37-year-old official made five bookings in Liverpool’s 3-2 Wembley win and his latest red card was shown to Everton defender Michael Keane in West Ham’s 2-1 win at London Stadium.

Games whistled by Michael Oliver in 2021/22 season: Games 39, yellow cards 133, red cards 8

Referee: Michael Oliver

assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett

fourth official: André Marriner

VAR: Paul Tierney

Assistant VAR: Simon Long

Recent form

Timo Werner on target in defeat against Arsenal

Chelsea had amassed a run of five wins before being stunned in a 4-1 home defeat to Brentford.

Thomas Tuchel’s men came back to beat Southampton 6-0 at St Mary’s, but a 4-2 home defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday has raised concerns about the Blues’ defensive weaknesses and avoidable mistakes.

It is now three consecutive home defeats in all competitions for Chelsea – a period that saw them concede 11 goals.

They remain on track to qualify for the Champions League next season and face Liverpool in the FA Cup final next month, but questions need to be raised about defence-backs and a return of just two shots on goal against Arsenal on another bad night for striker Romelu Lukaku.

West Ham have had a poor run of five games with no wins in their travels in the Premier League and the last time out had to come from behind to save a 1-1 draw against relegated Burnley at the London Stadium, thanks to a goal from Tomas Soucek. in a game marred by a nasty injury sustained by Clarets midfielder Ashley Westwood.

The Hammers are hoping to avoid playing three games without a Premier League win against Chelsea, but their focus will no doubt be on next week’s huge first leg in the Europa League semi-finals.

Recent Players in Form

Mason Mount in goal form for Chelsea

Mason Mount had scored four goals in his last three appearances in all competitions – including a brace in Southampton’s 6-0 defeat – before failing to find the net in the 4-2 defeat to Arsenal.

The 23-year-old England international has moved up to 10th in the Premier League and is the only Chelsea player to reach double digits in the top division so far this season.

He is three ahead of Kai Havertz on seven.

Jarrod Bowen now stands on nine goals in the Premier League and his fine form continued in the 3-0 win in the Europa League semi-final in Lyon, when he managed to secure the Hammers at the end of a sweeping counter-attack. to set their first European semi-final in 46 years.

The 25-year-old now has three goals in his last five appearances in all competitions, but whether he starts against Chelsea or is wrapped up in cotton wool is up for debate, given the importance of next week’s Europa League game.

Past meetings

Thiago Silva scored against West Ham in December

Chelsea were denied a third successive win over West Ham in the Premier League when they lost 3-2 at London Stadium in December.

That game will be remembered for a freak Arthur Masuaku goal at 87 minutes.

The defender’s misdirected cross defeated Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to let David Moyes’ men win the derby in a pulse-pounding encounter.

Thiago Silva and Mason Mount were on target for Chelsea that day, but Manuel Lanzini scored a penalty and Jarrod Bowen equalized three minutes before time for Masuaku’s showstopper.

Thoughts of managers

Thomas Tuchel on return to form

Thomas Tuchel said: “Normally in a home game you want to feel like you’re still able to come back no matter what. But now it’s a little different but very hard to argue because it’s clear seems we’ve been arguing from three home games with very similar results which we definitely don’t like.

“And now the job is to convince the players to keep going, the supporters to keep going and stay positive because we have a lot to build on, we have a lot to rely on and also to rely on.

“So don’t get superstitious now and don’t believe in things that might not be there. But it’s another challenge on top of the others.”

David Moyes said: “Chelsea were arguably the favorite for the Premier League in the first three months of the season – since then you’ve seen the strength of Manchester City and Liverpool.

“They are champions of Europe and have a very good squad and manager. They have had their ups and downs like all teams, but they have a top team. Only the top two have plowed through.”

Predicted teams

Kai Havertz on the bench against Arsenal

Chelsea made four changes from the side that defeated Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-final to face Arsenal.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was rewarded for his goal at Wembley with a start and will apply pressure to keep his shirt against West Ham.

Kai Havertz and Jorginho slumped to the bench, while Antonio Rudiger and Mateo Kovacic were not in the squad and are also out facing West Ham, no doubt Andreas Christensen.

Thomas Tuchel also has to make a decision on whether or not to keep faith in Romelu Lukaku, who has failed to make the big money, who has scored just one goal in his last eight starts in all competitions.

Kurt Zouma remains sidelined after missing out on the Hammers’ draw against Burnley and the Europa League win over Lyon, and is now joined by Issa Diop on the treatment table after he suffered a Achilles injury against Burnley.

With Angelo Ogbonna out for most of the season, Craig Dawson is the club’s only recognized senior centre-back. Under-23 defender Aji Alese could be drafted in the back, or Moyes could close the gap with midfielders Declan Rice or Alex Kral.

Chelsea possible (3-4-1-2): Mendy-Christensen, T. Silva, Christensen – James, Kante, Jorginho, Alonso – Mount – Havertz, Werner.

West Ham possible (4-2-3-1): Fabianski – Coufal, Dawson, AleseCresswell – Soucek, Rice – Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals, Antonio.

Chelsea vs West Ham Prediction

Romelu Lukaku is a concern for Chelsea

Chelsea have defensive issues to tackle, but the dilemma here is how much of West Ham’s focus will be on next week’s huge Europa League semi-final.

David Moyes’ squad selection will be interesting, especially in a battered defence, but the Hammers’ recent outing in the Premier League is worrying anyway, so the lead must be with hosts Chelsea – albeit a tentative one.

Thomas Tuchel’s men appear to have one foot in the door for the Champions League next season and could start thinking about the FA Cup final against Liverpool next month, but avoidable mistakes in defense and the worrying form of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku remain a concern.

Chelsea to beat this 2-1.

READ MORE: Seven things you might not know about new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag

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