Can Cheikh Kouyate keep Cesc Fabregas quiet this evening?

Ramires Kick - Chelsea v West Ham

West Ham United face a difficult game against Chelsea this evening.

West Ham United are going to be up against it in the game against Chelsea this evening.

The Hammers are searching for their best form while the Blues go into this match fresh off the back of a League Cup final win against Tottenham.

One of the key challenges for West Ham is going to be how they keep £27 million star Cesc Fabregas quiet.

Cheikh Kouyate may be tasked with the responsibility of containing the Spaniard and the stats below suggest how the battle could unfold.

  PositionTeamGoalsGoal AssistBig Chance CreatedTouchesAccurate PassAppearancesMins Played
Cesc Fàbregas MF Chelsea 2 15 15 2,353 1,649 23 1,961
  PositionTeamWon TackleDuel WonInterception WonFoulsAccurate PassAppearancesMins Played
Cheikhou Kouyaté MF West Ham 39 150 37 35 465 20 1,688

Fabregas’ two biggest strengths appear to be his passing ability and his positional play.

He drifts into areas and pockets of space where he’s able to get on the ball and be effective in terms of creating chances and helping Chelsea to retain possession.

There are a couple of ways Kouyate can look at combating that.

Firstly, he can look to be aggressive and get in the face of Fabregas, trying to intimidate him physically, which makes him less willing to fly around midfield looking to get involved in the play.

Secondly, he can try and read the play and intercept the ball before it gets to Fabregas. That’s more dangerous because it forces a player to step out of position and take more risks. If he gets it wrong, Fabregas will make him pay.

Keep the Spaniard out of the game and West Ham have a great chance of securing a positive result.

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