West Ham vs Chelsea: Six key areas which illustrate the gulf in class

West Ham United host Premier League leaders Chelsea on Wednesday.

West Ham United host Chelsea on Wednesday in an important London derby which could have a big bearing on the finishing position of both teams.

The Blues head in to the match in buoyant mood after Sunday’s League Cup final victory over Spurs was made just that extra bit sweeter as a result of Manchester City’s 2-1 defeat at Liverpool on the same day.

The Hammers, on the other hand, are having a wretched time of late as injuries and suspensions have hampered their squad and caused a succession of poor results.

Irons boss Sam Allardyce is under huge pressure to perform and following a run of just one league win in ten games, Jose Mourinho’s men are the last team he will want to face in search of a positive result.

  Shots per GoalShots on Target %Key PassesPossession PercentagePass Success %Tackles Won %Ball RecoveriesAppearances
Chelsea 7.2 38.2% 345 56% 84% 80.4% 1,589 26
West Ham 9.1 32.3% 271 45% 74.8% 74.6% 1,564 27

As per the table provided by Opta, the gulf in class between the two sides can be illustrated in six key categories where the Blues outperform the East Londoners.

Aside from the obvious difference in goals scored, the Stamford Bridge outfit are more clinical across the board – needing just 7.2 shots to score a goal in contrast to the Hammers who need 9.1 efforts.

Furthermore, 38.2% of the Blues’ overall shots have tested the opposition keeper whereas West Ham post a lower figure of just 32.3%.

In possession, Mourinho’s side average more than their upcoming opponents and achieve a much higher success rate in their passes, recording 84% on average.

One area which a Sam Allardyce side can always be renowned for is their ability to press the opposition, put bodies on the line, make tackles and win the second balls.

However, even in such categories the West Londoners come out on top – averaging an 80.4% tackle success rate and recording more ball recoveries while taking in to account they’ve played one match less.

The Blues are favourites and another victory would be another huge step towards the Premier League title, but Sam Allardyce’s men will provide a stern test and should not be underestimated despite their run of poor form.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch