LONDON, Sporting Alert – Summer recruit N’Golo Kante starts alongside Nemanja Matic in midfield for Chelsea against West Ham United in the English Premier at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
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GOAL UPDATE 89th minute:
Diego Costa scored an 89th minute winner and Chelsea lead West Ham United 2-1. Costa collected the ball outside and with James Collins backing off, he fires a low shot into the far corner out of the reach of the goalkeeper
GOAL UPDATE 77th minute:
James Collins volleyed home from inside the box for West Ham United to find the equaliser against Chelsea in the 77th minute. Chelsea and West Ham are 1-1.
GOAL UPDATE 47th minute:
Eden Hazard has scored the first goal of the Antonio Conte era and Chelsea takes the lead against West Ham. Hazard fires home a powerful shot from the penalty spot to give his team the lead in the 47th minute. Chelsea leads West Ham 1-0.
New manager Antonio Conte has decided to play the two in the centre of the pitch, with Oscar also starting.
Cesc Fabregas makes way for Kante in the starting lineup, with Spanish international only on the bench.
“Kante has settled very well in the team,” Conte said. “He is fantastic, with good technique and stamina and he can help the team this season.”
Diego Costa leads the attack, with summer signing Michy Batshuayi on the bench, alongside Pedro and Victor Moses.
Willian and Eden Hazard, who is targeting a fresh start, following his poor season last term, will be in support of Costa.
Gary Cahill and captain John Terry start in the heart of the defence, with Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta playing as the full-backs.
Thibaut Courtois starts in goal, with Asmir Begovic on the bench.
“We have worked very well and I think the team is ready to start the season,” said Conte. “We have a tough game against a strong side.
Meanwhile, for West Ham, Dimitri Payet, one of the stars for the Hammers last year and a key player for France at Euro 2016 earlier this summer, starts on the bench.
However, Arthur Masuaku, Havard Nordtveit and Andre Ayew all make their competitive debuts for West Ham, but fellow new signing Sofiane Feghouli is not involved at all.
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic said: “They are three new players but they are very experienced, at least two of them. Ayew has done it in the Premier League and is a great player.
Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia lead the attacking line, with Winston Reid, James Collins, Cheikhou Kouyate and Mark Noble also starting.
“We are expecting big things from them, not just to be squad players. They are ready, they were really good in training,” Bilic added.
Chelsea v West Ham
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Kante, Matic, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Costa. Subs: Begovic, Fabregas, Pedro, Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Batshuayi, Aina
West Ham: Adrian, Antonio, Reid, Collins, Masuaku, Kouyate, Nordtveit, Noble, Ayew, Carroll, Valencia. Subs: Randolph, Obiang, Tore, Ogbonna, Byram, Payet, Oxford
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)