With six games left in West Ham United’s 2018-19 Premier League campaign, most Irons fans will be looking towards a busy summer in the transfer market and onto next season.
It has been an inconsistent campaign for the Hammers, with a very slow start and frustrating form offset by some excellent results and standout individual performances at times.
Looking at the remainder of the season, West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini will urge his troops to finish strongly and secure a top-half finish as something to build on for next term.
Monday night’s game will be a tricky one as Chelsea are pushing for Champions League qualification and many of the Hammers players may well be on autopilot ahead of the summer.
Chelsea are 4/11 favourites against West Ham (7/1) on Monday, according to My Top Sportsbooks.
The Blues have been impressive at Stamford Bridge this season, sporting a 9-5-1 home record. The Hammers, on the other hand, are averaging just a single point in away matches this year (4-3-8) and haven’t earned a single away point against a team higher than ninth in the table.
With West Ham’s recent results trending down, as well (0-1-5 in last six away matches), the value is on Chelsea, who remain in a fierce battle for a Champions League spot.
However, Pellegrini will look to amp up his players ahead of this London derby, where local bragging rights and pride are certainly at stake.
A victory at Stamford Bridge could well be the impetus West Ham need to push on and try to finish as high as possible, with seventh place still not out of reach.
While unlikely, West Ham have the quality to close the five-point gap between themselves in 11th place and Wolves, who are currently sitting in seventh.
Chelsea have endured a turbulent campaign themselves, but results have improved of late and the Hammers will have to keep a close eye on danger man Eden Hazard.
However, if Pellegrini can field a side that defends well and looks to counter-attack, victory for West Ham and a strong end to the season is still possible.