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Premier League preview: Can West Ham beat Chelsea again? Plus Burnley face Wolves

| 21.12.2020
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We take a closer look at tonight’s Premier League fixtures

After a thrilling round of weekend games, we’re set for a treat tonight as we look forward to the final two top-flight matches before Christmas.

First up, a resurgent Burnley side will escape the bottom three if they can stretch their unbeaten run to four games against Wolves.

And following that we’re set for a feisty London derby as Chelsea welcome West Ham to Stamford Bridge.

The Hammers have won the last two meetings between the pair but Frank Lampard will be desperate to get one over on his former side.

Ahead of the action, we’ve taken a closer look at the form, team news and the latest odds.

Burnley v Wolves (17:30)

After failing to win any of their opening seven Premier League games, Burnley’s prospects looked bleak. But Sean Dyche maintained hope that his side could turn things around and after claiming two wins and two draws in the most recent five outings, the Clarets are on the up.

A win tonight will propel them out of the drop zone into 16th, just a point below Arsenal, who they condemned to a defeat last weekend.

Sean Dyche

Standing in their way is an inconsistent Wolves side, who followed up disappointing defeats to Liverpool and Aston Villa with a convincing late victory over Chelsea last time out.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side lack potency up front in Raul Jimenez’s absence and they’ll have to be at their very best to conjure a way through Burnley’s backline, who have recorded four clean sheets in their last six matches.

Both meetings between the pair ended 1-1 last season but Wolves will be looking to claim all three points, which would see them spend Christmas in the top half of the table.

Burnley will likely be without Dale Stephens once again, although the midfielder is nearing a return from a hamstring issue, while Phil Bardsley is also in contention to start. Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jack Cork are both still out.

Wolves could be without both Willy Boly and Leander Dendoncker after the pair picked up injuries in their win over Chelsea. Joao Moutinho is back after serving a one-match suspension.

Burnley can be backed at 13/5 while the draw is going at 21/10. Wolves are priced at 5/4.

Chelsea v West Ham (20:00)

Chelsea are the overwhelming favourites to win tonight if the odds are to be believed but recent history suggests West Ham are far from pushovers.

An Aaron Cresswell goal was the difference in this fixture last November before the return clash at the London Stadium saw Andriy Yarmolenko’s late winner settle a five-goal thriller.

The Blues are desperate for the points having lost to Everton and Wolves in their last two Premier League outings. Lampard’s side are in danger of falling behind the pace-setters although a win tonight will see them go level on points with fifth-placed Tottenham.

Sebastien Haller

West Ham have won four of their last six matches and frontman Sebastien Haller will be full of confidence after his stunning bicycle kick rescued a point against 10-man Crystal Palace last Wednesday.

Chelsea could be boosted by the return of wingers Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi. The pair both returned to full training last week having been suffering with hamstring issues.

For the visitors, Michail Antonio is nearing a return having missed the last three games, although tonight’s match may come too soon for him. Fabian Balbuena is also in contention but Arthur Masuaku continues to recover from knee surgery.

Chelsea are odds-on favourites at 1/2. West Ham can be backed at 11/2 while the draw is 7/2.

View the latest football odds.

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Harry Howes

Having previously worked on national newspapers, Harry is an experienced writer who is obsessed with all things football and Wilfried Zaha, even naming his cat after the future Ballon d’Or winner.