THE Premier League continues on Sunday's as Chelsea welcome West Ham to Stamford Bridge. Ben Levene (@BenLevene96) shares his best bets.
Chelsea v West Ham | Sunday 8th April 2018, 16:30 | Sky Sports
West Ham picked up a must-needed win against Southampton last weekend, ending a run that had seen them pick up just one win in seven.
However, it’s fair to say David Moyes’ team are a shadow of the side who avoided defeat against Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs earlier in his reign, even putting in a valiant performance in a 2-1 defeat to Man City.
They’re now five-points clear of the drop zone but with three of their next four games against Chelsea (a), Arsenal (a) and Man City (h), the Hammers still have work to do.
It’s difficult to tell if Saturday’s victory indicated an upturn in form, or if Southampton were simply just much worse. The Saints failed to register a shot-on-target, but when you delve deeper, it isn’t too surprising. Since Moyes took charge, none of the 11 visitors to the London Stadium have registered more than four shots-on-target.
Away performances have been a different story on the other hand. The Hammers have conceded 11 goals in their last three away matches, allowing 43 shots-on-goal (22 on-target).
Chelsea were stunned in the second-half by Tottenham last Sunday, but they’ve won the shot-on-target count in 12 consecutive matches at Stamford Bridge. Should they create chances here, they’ll surely get on the scoresheet. They’ve scored 11 goals across their last five games at Stamford Bridge, and Willian has scored four of those.
At 2/7 I have no interest in touching Chelsea, and likewise the 6/4 about a Willian goal anytime seems a bit slim.
Cards could cop
Kevin Friend has shown more than four cards in just two of 28 games he’s officiated this campaign. He’s cumulatively shown three cards across his last three Premier League matches. If cards are your thing, then Under 4 Asian Cards at even money could be of appeal. It sees your stake refunded if exactly four cards are shown, with a winner paid if fewer are awarded.
Follow the numbers
The best way to approach this game could be a stats-based play in the corner markets. In West Ham’s last seven away games they’ve conceded 7, 7, 7, 4, 8 and 4 corners respectively.
At home to non top-six opposition, Chelsea have won between 7 and 9 corners in 5 of 13 matches (38%). They average 7.9 corners per Premier League home game this season. More generally under Moyes, West Ham have conceded a total within this bracket in 8/15 matches (53%).
In a game where there’s little value at the prices, I’m happy to keep faith in the numbers, and back Chelsea to have between 7 and 9 corners.
Chelsea v West Ham – Chelsea to take 7-9 Corners (7/4 Sky Bet)