West Ham 0-1 Chelsea
- Goals: Timo Werner (£9.2m)
- Assists: Ben Chilwell (£5.8m)
- Red cards: Fabian Balbuena (£4.1m)
- Bonus points: Chilwell x3, Antonio Rüdiger x2 (£4.7m), Thiago Silva x1 (£5.6m)
West Ham continue to suffer in the absence of their key players as their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea saw them lose ground in the top-four race.
Without Michail Antonio (£6.4m), Declan Rice (£4.7m), Aaron Creswell (£5.7m) and Craig Dawson (£4.5m) they were edged out of a tight encounter at the London Stadium which produced Jesse Lingard‘s (£6.6m) first blank since Gameweek 23.
Still, there were hints that one was potentially coming for the Manchester United loanee after his quiet performance against Newcastle last time out, which involved him dropping deep to, largely in vain, create his own chances with less ball recycling and chance creation on the left-hand side of the pitch.
Just like the Hammers’ trip north, their Blank Gameweek 33 encounter with Chelsea saw them offer less going forward without Cresswell in the team, his creative output missing from a back-three that contained more traditional centre-backs in Angelo Ogbonna (£4.7m), Issa Diop (£4.3m) and Fabian Balbuena (£4.1m) in for the suspended Dawson.
Lingard is now without an open-play attacking return in two matches without Cresswell and it is worth noting his role in penalties remains uncertain with Mark Noble (£4.5m) starting games in Rice’s absence. The West Ham captain had, of course, been substituted by the time a spot-kick was won at Newcastle.
Still, Lingard has certainly done enough to earn some trust through his recent dip in form, especially considering the relatively small sample size and the fact that one of those two matches was against a statistically in-form Chelsea defence.
Furthermore, Burnley are West Ham’s next opponents, a side that has conceded nine goals across their last four matches.
ON THE MENDY
West Ham’s blank was Chelsea’s gain as they recorded another much-needed clean sheet at the London Stadium.
After giving up six goals from eight shots in the box to West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace, Thomas Tuchel’s men have now gone 180 minutes without conceding and look in good shape for a Gameweek 34 meeting with low-scoring Fulham.
Since Tuchel’s first Premier League game, they have collected 10 clean sheets from a possible 14, equalling the quickest a manager has recorded that many in Premier League history after Luiz Felipe Scolari achieved the same feat in 2008. For context, it took Frank Lampard 42 games to reach that many clean sheets. And since January, only Manchester City (36) have won more league points than Chelsea (29) and their shots conceded in the box (51) is the fewest of any top-flight side.
That said, picking the right Chelsea defender to capitalise on their clean-sheet potential is still something of a challenge.
Edouard Mendy (£5.2m) and César Azpilicueta (£5.9m) were back in the starting XI after their midweek benching although there was no clarification as to whether Kepa Arrizabalaga (£4.7m) will trouble for the goalkeeper jersey again after his appearance against Brighton.
Azpilicueta has still started 13 of Tuchel’s 14 matches in charge, producing one goal, nine clean sheets and nine bonus points for a total of 74 points, which is the most of any Chelsea player since the change of manager.
The Spaniard had a different role against West Ham, asked to play at right wing-back for the first time under Tuchel, a decision based on the hosts’ set-piece goal threat according to the former Borussia Dortmund boss.
“We opted for some height at the back because we know about West Ham’s strength at set pieces. We have Toni, Thiago and Andreas as a back-three which is a bit taller and with Azpi we gain more centre-metres when defending set pieces. Anything else, seems like a lot of changes from the last game, it’s a group that’s used to playing together like that and there’s a strong XI on the pitch.” – Thomas Tuchel
We must not forget Andreas Christensen (£4.7m), considering he has started six of the last eight and has claimed more clean sheets in that time than any other Chelsea defender. His total of six is one more than Azpilicueta and Antonio Rüdiger (£4.7m).
Still, the latter remains a solid option having recorded bonus points in each of the last two shut-outs for the Blues.
West Ham United XI (3-4-1-2): Fabianski; Diop, Ogbonna, Balbuena; Fredericks (Johnson 83′), Soucek, Noble (Lanzini 69′), Coufal; Fornals (Benrahma 69′); Lingard, Bowen.
Chelsea XI (3-4-2-1): E Mendy; Rüdiger, T Silva, Christensen; Chilwell, Jorginho, Kanté, Azpilicueta (R James 86′); Pulisic (Ziyech 74′), Mount; Werner (Abraham 87′).
Elsewhere in Blank Gameweek 33
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Source : www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk – https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk%2F2021%2F04%2F25%2Fhow-lingards-fpl-output-fares-with-and-without-cresswell-in-west-ham-side%2F