LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea can edge even closer to clinching the Premier League title if they take all three points from their game against West Ham on Monday.
Antonio Conte leads his side across London with hopes of securing 29 points from the club’s remaining 12 fixtures.
Violent clashes between supporters marred Chelsea’s last visit to the London Stadium and tensions are likely to be running high on and off the field.
Here is what the fans have to say about their respective clubs:Geo Mackie, Hammers Chat [www.hammerschat.com]
”One defeat in 20 games shows Chelsea are in fantastic form but they have picked up just one win from their last four on the road - which was at Leicester. That tells me that there could be points up for grabs here. I’m expecting a score-draw.
”I would like to see Slaven Bilic have a go and aim for a win. We are in the middle third of the table where relegation is not a worry and European football is probably out of reach, so we’ve got nothing to lose.
”As long as the players give 100 percent then the fans will be happy, we can accept a defeat, just as long as both the players and manager have given it their all.
”It would be a huge boost if Andy Carroll is fit and available to play. I think if he had been involved in the last two games then we may have an extra four points on the board.
”Carroll’s injury record is something we just have to put up with. On his day I think he is a top Premier League striker and he must be an absolute nightmare for defenders.
”When you play teams like Chelsea you rely on the big characters in your dressing room.“ ”I think the crowd trouble the last time our clubs met at the London Stadium was all blown out of proportion. There were a small number of arrests from both sets of supporters and I have seen a lot worse at other football grounds around the country.
“The stewarding, which was a massive issue earlier in the season, has improved, so I have no concerns heading into the game on Monday night.”
Andy Saunders, The Chels podcast [ChelseaPodcast.net]
”This is East London v West London. It’s a proper London rivalry stretching back for as long as anyone can remember. We see West Ham as the wretched underclass in the East End and they associate us with the Kings Road.
”The footballing gap between the two clubs has widened significantly but the undercurrent of bitterness and outright contempt is alive and well.
”As we approach the final stretch of fixtures, every game is a big game for us. West Ham haven’t had a particularly great season and have dropped a lot of points.
”That said, this is a London derby so the atmosphere will be heated and I’m sure they’ll raise their game for the occasion.
”Our away form in the last couple of matches is slightly concerning but we should have enough in the tank, particularly going forward, to take all three points. I think it will be a comfortable 2-0 win for Chelsea.
”Chelsea’s defence is solid, West Ham aren’t prolific in front of goal, and we have the firepower to dominate if we get on the front foot. I can’t see beyond a win for us.
”We haven’t sewn up the title. No self-respecting Chelsea fan is popping the champagne corks yet.
“Are we in a strong position? Undoubtedly. Is it in our own hands? For sure. But until it is mathematically certain that we have accrued enough points to be champions then we’ll refrain from celebrating.”
Editing by Nick Mulvenney