Chelsea great value at 4/6 away to poor hosts West Ham
A return of just one point from their last two Premier League games has seen Chelsea slide from second to fourth in the Premier League.
However, the Blues have won seven of their last nine matches in all competitions and are a surprisingly backable price to win at 16th-placed West Ham.
Chelsea to win @ 4/6
The fact that Chelsea were off colour in recent matches against Newcastle and West Brom is not in dispute, but Jose Mourinho’s side had won their previous six games prior to the 2-0 loss at St James’ Park and went into that match unbeaten in nine in all competitions.
Chelsea could hardly have picked a better team to bounce back against, as West Ham are without a Premier League victory since the 3-0 win at Tottenham five matches ago and lost their last game 3-1 against fellow strugglers Norwich.
The home form that undoubtedly propelled the Hammers into tenth place last season – when they gained 33 of their 46 points in east London – has deserted Allardyce’s side and their meagre home-points haul of four ranks among the worst in the division this term.
Allardyce has never beaten a Mourinho team in six attempts and the Portuguese can lead his beloved Blues to a morale boosting win at the Boleyn Ground.
Eden Hazard to score the first goal @ 8/1
It’s been assumed that Mourinho keeps Hazard in the team ahead of Juan Mata because of the Belgian’s willingness to track back and defend more than his Spanish teammate.
This was evident when the 22-year-old was deployed in defence after Ashley Cole went off in Chelsea’s loss at Everton, but Hazard has so much more to offer than reserve left-back services.
The former Lille man’s last-minute equaliser from the penalty spot against the Baggies put him level with fellow midfielder Oscar as Chelsea’s top Premier League scorer this season on four goals.
Hazard has also scored in the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup this season and looks a great value bet for the opener here, considering none of Chelsea’s strikers can be backed with any confidence to score at present.
Frank Lampard to score at any time @ 10/3
For a man who had scored 141 times for Chelsea in the Premier League over 12 seasons prior to this one, a return of just one top-flight goal this term will disappoint Lampard.
However, the Romford native often gets on the scoresheet against the club he learned his trade at and struck three times in his last six games against West Ham
Mourinho has constantly changed personnel in midfield since returning to Stamford Bridge during the summer, but Chelsea’s vice-captain has appeared in every one of their Premier League outings so far in 2013/14, starting nine out of 11 games.
Lampard couldn’t celebrate his 100th England cap against Chile with a goal, but up against an Irons side shorn of influential defender Winston Reid, the 35-year-old can get on the scoresheet once more.