West Ham United v Chelsea – Premier League – London Stadium – Saturday 5:30pm – Preview
Brian Dear was left frustrated with West Ham United’s performance at Newcastle.
Defensive frailties and a lack of concentration proved costly as the Hammers slipped to a 3-2 defeat on Tyneside and although the East Londoners showed spirit, initially recovering a two-goal deficit, Dear was concerned that the result could have a knock-on effect when in-form Chelsea visit the London Stadium on Saturday evening.
“This is a huge test against a Chelsea side who are right on their games,” Dear told Yellow Sport.
“They had questions asked of them after West Brom had surprisingly beaten them – they have answered the critics perfectly. We certainly have our work cut out on Saturday night.
“To be fair, the goalkeeping and defensive errors were uncharacteristic from what we have seen previously this season. However, with games running out, we can’t afford any more days like that one if we are to book European football for next season.
“No doubt the manager will have got into them this week. I know the injuries to Antonio, Cresswell and Rice have come at a bad time, but you have to be strong and get on with it. We have an experienced group. They know it should have been better at St James Park.”
Looking ahead to Chelsea’s visit, Dear added: “They already have an FA Cup final and a Champions League semi-final to look forward to. Thomas Tuchel has them organised. Apart from the blip against West Brom, they don’t show any signs of letting up in the league.
“It’s tough chasing honours on two or three fronts, but they have a talented group – we must ensure we match them in every department.
“If we play to our capabilities, then I don’t see why we can’t get something from the game. I fancy us for a point.”
Brian Dear’s prediction: West Ham United 1-1 Chelsea
Jeevesie’s prediction: West Ham United 1-3 Chelsea