West Ham will secure a surprise victory over London rivals Chelsea on Sunday, according to BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side managed to stop the rot last weekend by beating Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park to end a sequence of four consecutive Premier League defeats but face a stern test in the weeks ahead as they look to build a run of form.
The Hammers host Chelsea on Sunday before coming toe-to-toe with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the near future, with a run of games that looks extremely daunting for the East London outfit.
However, despite Chelsea winning all five of their games so far this season, BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has predicted that West Ham will inflict the first defeat of Maurizio Sarri’s reign upon the Blues as he tips the Hammers to win 2-1 at the London Stadium.
“West Ham had a super win last weekend against Everton and they will be hoping Marko Arnautovic recovers from the knee injury he sustained in that game, because he was just terrific.
“The Hammers have lost both their games at London Stadium so far this season, but I have a feeling they will turn up for this one.
“That’s not based on form, because Chelsea have got five league wins out of five, or the fact West Ham are at home, because they have been struggling there.
“I might be going out on a limb in backing the Hammers, but I just think something will click for them this time.”
Predicting a West Ham side who are yet to find their rhythm to beat a Chelsea side who have immediately clicked under Maurizio Sarri is certainly a bold call from the former Liverpool defender, although there is a method to his madness.
The Hammers always seem to raise their performance against bigger sides and were unfortunate not to get something against Arsenal prior to the international break, while the huge boost received by last weekend’s win over Everton could be vital.
On top of this, the Blues have also looked shaky at times defensively, keeping just two clean sheets in five matches, and the form of Marko Arnautovic could inspire the Hammers to secure a famous result.