It’s that time again. The 2016-17 Premier League campaign gets underway this weekend and West Ham United will visit Stamford Bridge on Monday evening, in what will be the 92nd meeting between themselves and Chelsea.
Mark Noble, captain for the Hammers, will undergo his 14th Premier League campaign, which he says will be the toughest yet. “It’s a competitive league” is how the skipper described the situation. However he is also confident that they can lay down a marker against Chelsea, and is looking forward to the challenge.
In relation to the league, he added: “We’ve got seven or eight of the best ten or eleven managers in Europe in the Premier League now. We’ve got some of the best players too."
Talking about having the best players, Dimitri Payet will surely be one of the few players Noble was referring to. Having scored nine and assisted 12 last season, the Frenchman played a vital role in West Ham gaining a UEFA Europa League spot.
Ayew excited with what is to come
With the TV deals benefiting the Premier league, all clubs are now able to challenge for players. As for West Ham, their manager Slavan Bilic has made nine signings since the opening of the transfer window.
One of the latest players to join the Hammers is André Ayew, who signed for a club record fee of £20.5 million. He shared his reaction to arriving at the new London Stadium by stating the following, “I can’t wait to play here!” He was also asked about his reunion with fan favourite, Dimitri Payet and responded: “He’s a friend of mine as we played two or three years together at Marseille."
He added, "I know him and he knows me and I’m happy to be back playing with a great player like him, because I know what he is capable of doing."
Conte on Monday's game
Antonio Conte will experience a season in the Premier League for the first time, as he takes charge of Chelsea in his first competitive match in charge. He will surely be looking to improve on their previous season, one that no one saw coming. The Italian is confident ahead of the opening fixture and says "[Chelsea] are ready", as well as adding: "We must be patient to find the right solution for the team".
With both sides having bolstered their squads, this could be another titantic tussle between the two teams.