By Amir Mir
Charlie Nicholas believes West Ham will beat Chelsea on penalties in their EFL Cup clash on Wednesday night at the London Stadium.
Sky Sports pundit Nicholas has predicted Hammers playmaker Dimitri Payet to open the scoring, before the home side take home the spoils via a penalty shoot-out.
Slaven Bilic’s side go into the London derby on the back of a few good results, after their poor start to the season, where they were in the relegation zone after six games.
But, back-to-back wins against Crystal Palace and at home to rock bottom Sunderland, has lifted the east London club to 15th in the table on ten points.
Former Arsenal striker Nicholas has given his views on who and what will make the difference, in what is expected to be a highly charged game.
“This is another really decent game,” Nicholas wrote in his Sky Sports column. “It’s been two 1-0 wins for West Ham with Winston Reid back in team, making the difference at both ends.
“If you think there’s a poor atmosphere at the London Stadium then this will test it because these Chelsea fans will make it a feisty one.
“This is another game, like the Manchester derby, which is going to lack discipline. Neither side will want to give up an inch and I can see this going all the way, with West Ham winning on penalties.”
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea beat Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United 4-0 on Sunday afternoon, as they look to claim another big scalp.
The west London club beat Premier League champions Leicester City 4-2 to progress through to this stage of the competition.
By contrast the Irons needed a stoppage time free-kick from Payet to secure a late win against fourth tier side Accrington Stanley.
In other West Ham team news, this Chelsea senior player believes the Hammers play like an away team at their own London Stadium.