Chelsea will host West Ham on Monday night for a vital clash that could boost Chelsea’s top four chances.
A win for Chelsea will take the Blues to third position, although Maurizio Sarri’s side would have played a game more than rivals Tottenham and Arsenal.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has pointed out one West Ham player ahead of the clash, as the Italian has revealed that he has been impressed with Hammers midfielder Declan Rice.
The 20-year-old has been recently capped by the England team, and Sarri has revealed that he has watched the young midfielder improve all season.
Sarri said: “He is a very good player, very good in the defensive phase because he is very able to recover the ball.
He usually plays very close to the defensive line and in the first match we played versus West Ham, it was a very big problem for us.
“He is improving in the offensive phase, he has improved during the season. I saw their last matches and I saw a very good midfielder.”
Meanwhile, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has backed Chelsea to beat West Ham at the Bridge tonight.
Merson said: “West Ham are on the beach a bit as they are safe and going nowhere. They were very fortunate against Huddersfield when they won 4-3, that papered over the cracks, and then they got found out against Everton and if it wasn’t for Fabianski it could have been any score.
“I thought Chelsea were very good against Brighton, it’s probably the best I have seen them play in a long time.
“I expect Chelsea to win comfortably, but how many will be thinking about their Europa League quarter-final first leg on Thursday? Especially the manager as he hasn’t won anything. Coming fourth in the league won’t make a difference to him but winning the Europa is massive, so it will be interesting to see how he sets up.
“He has an excuse with his team selection because he could turn around and say he is looking at Thursday. If you were him that’s what you would be looking at. I think they might play their strongest team on Thursday.”