MX23RW : Monday, February 18 23:27:12

Chelsea scalp will motivate West Ham players, claims boss Pellegrini

Chelsea scalp will motivate West Ham players, claims boss Pellegrini
© Reuters
The high-flying Blues head to the London Stadium with five victories in as many matches.

Manuel Pellegrini believes Chelsea's perfect start to the Premier League season will provide even greater motivation to West Ham ahead of their capital showdown on Sunday.

The two sides meet at the London Stadium with West Ham boosted by ending a four-match losing streak following their first win of the campaign against Everton last weekend.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have been in irrepressible form under new manager Maurizio Sarri, moving to the summit of the table with five victories in as many matches, and kicking off their assault on the Europa League with a 1-0 win over Greek side PAOK on Thursday.

"I know that here in London there are a lot of derbies, but we have our first of the season against Chelsea, and they are at the top of the table so that is more of a motivation to beat them," Pellegrini said.

"It is impossible to start better than Chelsea have, but every game is different so we must be confident that we can play, and we need to be very concentrated on defending because they have players that make a difference in space.

"But, if we beat Chelsea it will not change our season. We will have just had six games, and not 38, so if we lose it will not be the final decision either. We must continue to try and improve every game, and every week."

Pellegrini finally claimed his first league win as West Ham manager with an encouraging 3-1 defeat of Everton at Goodison Park.

Declan Rice, deputising for Jack Wilshere, who faces six weeks on the sidelines following ankle surgery, was one of six changes by Pellegrini at the Toffees following West Ham's dismal defeat at home against Wolves.

The 19-year-old impressed as the anchor in West Ham's midfield, and it is likely he will get another chance to build on his performance against the Blues.

And Rice will face a stern test when he comes up against France's World Cup winner, N'Golo Kante.

"Players always have an opportunity to play, and when they have the chance they must take that chance," Pellegrini added.

"Declan did very well in the last game. He is a very young player, and he must know a lot of different things, learning about different players, and of course Kante is one midfielder that must be an example to him.

"Chelsea is a team that moves the ball very quickly, so we are going to try to do the same thing, and of course the midfield have a very important role in that."


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Marko Arnautovic in action for West Ham United in pre-season on July 28, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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