Antonio Conte says he is preparing for a “physical” match away to West Ham United on Monday, and is conscious of how Chelsea dropped points in their last away game to Burnley. The league leaders had gone ahead in that match through Pedro, only for Burnley to battle back and claim a point through Robbie Brady’s divine free-kick, emphasising what has perhaps been a slight drop-off in performance from Chelsea of late.
Conte, however, has them primed for what is likely to be a combative derby against West Ham.
“This game against West Ham, for us, is very important. It's very important. In the last away game, the way we played against Burnley, we drew. They played very physical football against us. Maybe it can happen, the same, against West Ham on Monday. But for this reason we are preparing for this type of situation. It will be a really tough game.”
Chelsea are meanwhile “satisfied” with assurances made by West Ham United that Monday’s match at the London Stadium will not see the crowd trouble that coloured their 2-1 League Cup defeat at the ground in October. Security members of both clubs have been in liaison about the fixture, with Conte describing that earlier match as “an exception” to what he has generally found the excellent atmospheres of English stadiums.
“Last time wasn't good,” the Italian said. “Wasn't good. I hope in this game our fans, the West Ham fans, enjoy totally the game and find the right atmosphere. To find the right atmosphere but, in England, it's very strange for me to talk about this: usually in every game you find the right atmosphere. The last game against West Ham there was an exception. But I hope, on Monday, to find a good atmosphere in the stadium. I think the players, the club, the country deserves this.”Reuse content