Chelsea vs. West Ham United Pick to Win
Date:Monday, August 15, 2016
Where: English Premier League – Stamford Bridge, London, UK
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds: Chelsea 4/6, Draw 58/19, West Ham United 26/5
Moneyline: Chelsea -150, Draw +305, West Ham United +520
Over/Under Best Market: UNDER 2.5 42/41 (+102)
West Ham United had a groundbreaking 2015/16 campaign, ascending much higher than Chelsea in the League Table while placing themselves on the map as one of London’s premier football clubs. The Hammers have revamped their organization, they have relocated to a newer and modernized upscale facility and they have a true franchise superstar in Dimitri Payet. 2016 can be a further staging point for West Ham United to showcase their supremacy in London, England and perhaps in Europe.
In the 2015/16 season, West Ham United finished just outside automatic qualification for a Europa berth. Southampton edged out the Hammers for the honor but with this being established, West Ham finished with over 60 points. A twenty-point improvement from the campaign in 2014/15. The Hammers have also unleashed some weapons and as we have already highlighted, the Hammers have a game-changer in Dimitri Payet who ascended to English Premier League accolades as a goal scorer. Furthermore, Payet displayed his excellence playing for France in the 2016 EURO tournament, where his heroics would secure some essential victories for the French in the group stages. Now, West Ham has this playmaker at their disposal with even more experience. This is bad news for Chelsea, a team that entered 2015/16 as a defending English Premier League champion that fell far from grace in their follow-up efforts.
Chelsea finished in the middle of the table in 2015/16, they sacked their manager and scratched their heads as they failed to utilize their world-class talent scattered across their midfield. Now, Chelsea is expected to once again be the Chelsea of old that does not lose at Stamford Bridge. This theory will certainly be put to the test against a West Ham United team that will enter this fixture with no fear and a lot to prove. There is temptation in playing on West Ham United outright, but the draw seems to be most economical because Chelsea is certainly strong at home and that cannot be taken for granted. Furthermore, the public at large fancies the draw least while they are keen on laying the juice with Chelsea at home most. Given Chelsea’s track record in 2015/16, it would not be a wise move to play this team as a favorite by any means until they prove that this price is based on more than just their namesake.
Many analysts and pundits will forecast this contest as a high-octane shootout. Both teams have a slew of offensive weapons. Most notably, Chelsea who sports the likes of Diego Costa, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Willian and Cesc Fabregas. However, this game will likely be best approached from a contrarian angle, especially in a sense of scoring. While allowing two goals by virtue of a 1-1 draw or a 2-0 thrashing carried out by either side, we can take back a highly probable situation at above-even odds. At every turn we look for value in the numbers and in taking the draw and the Under 2.5, we have a chance at potentially taking back +4.07 units from this contest if all goes according to plan. Once again, West Ham United outright is a delectable option on paper but we have to give credit to Chelsea who have certainly stepped their game up as of late and thus the odds with West Ham United indicate appropriate likelihoods of an outright win….highly unlikely.
Chelsea has won their last two in non-league competition and won four of their last five overall. Some notable Chelsea victims include Liverpool and AC Milan, a highly touted Italian side that Chelsea handily beat 3-1. Nevertheless, Chelsea’s overall body of work in 2015/16 is worth fading expectation, passing on the juice and laying the public perception of Chelsea at home in London. While an upset may seem to be a stretch, a draw by no means is far beyond imagination. Bottom line, West Ham United is still no longer the runt of London and Chelsea does not rule The Big Smoke with an iron fist anymore. The draw is our play.
Chelsea Recent Form
W – Werder Bremen 4-2
W – AC Milan 3-1
L – Real Madrid 2-3
W – Liverpool 1-0
W – RZ Pellets WAC 3-0
West Ham United Recent Form
W – NK Domzale 3-0
L – NK Domzale 1-2
L – Stoke City 1-2
W – Manchester United 3-2
L – Swansea City 1-4
Keith's Prediction for the Game: Draw 58/19 (+305) and UNDER 2.5 42/41 (+102)
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