Former Republic of Ireland international Mark Lawrenson has made his prediction for Chelsea's Premier League game against West Ham United on Saturday.
The top-four race in the Premier League is heating up as Chelsea take on West Ham, with both sides eyeing Champions League football next season. West Ham have made a surprise surge towards the top 4 under David Moyes. Meanwhile, Chelsea have also impressed under Thomas Tuchelin various competitions .
Mark Lawrenson has been predicting Premier League games on the BBC Sports column for more than ten years. The former Liverpool player believes Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea have enough quality to beat West Ham at the London Stadium.
The 63-year old pundit thinks West Ham might not be in the best of form after their shock defeat to Newcastle United. Lawrenson said in this regard:
"This is a big game in terms of the top four, and I just wonder if West Ham might be in a bit of a trough at the moment after their defeat against Newcastle last time out."
Things indeed look difficult for West Ham. Declan Rice and Michail Antonio will miss the Chelsea game due to injury, while defender Craig Dawson is suspended following his red card against the Magpies.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are coming into this game after a goalless draw against Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge. Mark Lawrenson has said that Thomas Tuchel might make a few changes, as Chelsea have a Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid to look forward to. Lawrenson elaborated in this regard:
"Chelsea did not do a lot in their draw against Brighton on Tuesday, although that game was overshadowed by what was happening to the plans for the ESL. Thankfully that is not something we have to worry about anymore. The Blues have their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Tuesday, so Thomas Tuchel might rest players, although it is difficult to know what his priority will be."
Chelsea to beat West Ham, says Mark Lawrenson
Mark Lawrenson has predicted a 2-0 win for Chelsea. He also said that Chelsea have a better chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League by finishing top four in the Premier League, as they are unlikely to win the European competition this year.
After sacking club legend Frank Lampard and appointing Thomas Tuchel at their helm, Chelsea look stable and are favorites to clinch one of the four Champions League berths.