On Sunday, West Ham welcome the current leaders of the Premier League, Chelsea, to the London Stadium.
After gaining their first win of the season, away to Everton, last Sunday, the Hammers will be hoping that they can make it two wins on the trot and really get their Premier League season kick-started.
But Chelsea will present, in all probability, the hardest challenge we’ve faced this season and the Hammers will have to be far more resolute, in defence, than they were against Everton, on Sunday, when the home side created numerous chances they failed to take.
Ahead of the fixture, as our build-up commences, we’ve selected 3 players that the Hammers will need to pay special attention to.
The first, Eden Hazard, needs no introduction. The Belgian impressed immensely at the World Cup, with Belgium, carrying his form into the new season. Able to run at defenders, with dazzling skills, almost at will, Hazard will have to be curtailed, although that is easier said than done. Hazard is also the top scorer in the Premier League at the time of writing, with 5 goals already this season including a hat-trick against Cardiff City, last time out.
The second, Jorginho, was signed from Napoli in the summer The Italian midfielder sits in front of the Chelsea back-four and controls their pattern of play. His array of passing, both long and short, is designed to give the side a metronomic effect. The Hammers will need to close him down and not allow the player the space and time on the ball he craves.
The third, Marcus Alonso, is a player that loves to get up and down the left flank. Primarily deployed as the left-back in the back-four, the Spanish international has the ability to not only overlap, down the left but make his way into dangerous positions in the area. For a defender, his goals return is decent and, if the Hammers give away free-kicks on the edge of the box, Alonso is capable of making them pay dearly.
So, if we can nullify the threat posed by Hazard, Jorginho and Alonso, we could stand a chance of getting the result we all crave.