Chelsea v West Ham – Stamford Bridge at 20:00 live on Sky Sports 1

The first Monday Night Football of the new Premier League season see’s Chelsea host West Ham at Stamford Bridge. This should be an interesting encounter and one that provides some value on the Asian Handicap betting market.

The Blues are under new management and after mixed results during pre-season, Antonio Conte doesn’t seem to have settled on a formation. It is likely however that he will opt for a 4-3-3 which will give Costa, Hazard and Wilian more freedom than a 4-4-2.

The Pensioners most notable signing over the Summer was that of N’Golo Kante from title winners Leicester. He is expected to start this evening, playing just in front of a familiar back-line.

Conte’s arrival at Chelsea has brought back some confidence around the Bridge. Fans and players will be looking to put the disaster of last season behind them, where they finished in 10th, their lowest position in 20 years.

The former Juventus manager has an incredible recent record as a club manager, losing just one of his last 30 games. His unbeaten run at home is just as impressive, extending to 28 games, winning 26 of those.

Chelsea are also very good starters, which will be imperative in one of the most competitive and open season’s in the Premier League. No other club in the EPL has earned more points on the opening day than Chelsea. They are priced at 1.62 to win this evening.

The Hammers’ competitive season is already underway having competed in the Europa League qualifiers, so they should be more settled.

West Ham enjoyed a fantastic campaign last year, finishing in seventh. Slaven Bilic used his resources brilliantly, setting up his side to play on the counter-attack, which worked extremely well, especially against the top sides.

They were the leagues 4th highest scorers away from home with 31 goals, failing to score in just 4 road matches from 19. Over 2.75 is priced at 2.02 and with there being a trend for goals in this fixture (2.83 per game), this offers some value.

Bilic may be without the services of last season’s star man, Dimitri Payet, which will be a huge blow. Also missing is full back Aaron Cresswell, which is bad news when you have the pace and skill of Wilian to deal with.

Like Chelsea, West Ham will likely start with a 4-3-3. The battle in midfield is where this game could be won or lost, but if the Blues can penetrate the West Ham midfield trio, they have more of a threat up front.

Picking recommendations in the first few rounds of matches in a new season is difficult, but I make Chelsea the value here. They are priced at 1.90 -0.75 on the Asian Handicap betting market. I expect the Blues to start with 3 points, which should see us pick up at least a half win. But I’m hoping for a victory by 2 or more goals.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Chelsea -0.75 at 1.90

Prices correct at time of writing.

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