Chelsea-West Ham Preview: Blues looking to maintain push for top-four finish
Both sides will be keen to make it back-to-back wins in the league - with the home side chasing a Champions League spot, while their opponents sit comfortably in midtable
By Shane Farrington
Azpilicueta, Luiz, Terry, Cole
Moses, Mata, Oscar
Demel, Collins, Reid, O'Brien
Jarvis, Collison, O'Neil, Diame, Vaz Te
Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez is expected to make some changes from the starting XI which beat Steaua Bucharest on Thursday, but club captain John Terry is likely to keep his place ahead of Gary Cahill.
Frank Lampard is set to come straight back into the side, while Victor Moses is also pushing for a recall. Up front, Fernando Torres could get an opportunity to get on a goalscoring run after netting in the Europa League, with Demba Ba having to settle for a place on the bench. Long-term absentee Oriol Romeu (knee) remains sidelined.
As for the visitors, Sam Allardyce will be looking to build on their 1-0 win at Stoke in their previous match. Ricardo Vaz Te may get a starting berth with the away side looking for extra pace going forward.
On loan Liverpool forward Andy Carroll will again lead the line. Joe Cole (hamstring) is set to miss out on facing his former side, while George McCartney (knee) and Kevin Nolan (ankle) are also sidelined.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea's Fernando Torres (pictured right), scored only his second goal of 2013 against Steaua in the Europa League on Thursday. The other one was in the FA Cup against Brentford.
- The Blues have the joint-second best scoring record in the Premier League along with Liverpool - with 56 goals. Only Manchester United (68) have netted more.
- The meeting between the two teams earlier in the season finished in a 3-1 West Ham win. Mata gave the Blues an early lead before second half goals from Carlton Cole, Mohammed Diame and Modibo Maiga.
- The Hammers are the joint-lowest scorers away from home in the league along with Stoke City - they’ve both scored 9 goals.
- West Ham have only won two of their last eight games in the league - 1-0 wins against Swansea City and Stoke.
- Three of the last four Premier League games between Chelsea and West Ham have featured over three goals. The hosts are 5/1 with bet365 to win by thee goals on Sunday.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 3-0 West Ham
- 20.46 %
Chelsea FC 3-1 West Ham
- 14.78 %
Chelsea FC 2-0 West Ham
- 14.37 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 23, 2013||West Ham 0 - Chelsea FC 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Mar 17, 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - West Ham 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 1, 2012||West Ham 3 - Chelsea FC 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 23, 2011||Chelsea FC 3 - West Ham 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Sep 11, 2010||West Ham 1 - Chelsea FC 3|
|Dec 7, 2013||Stoke 3 - Chelsea FC 2||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Sunderland 3 - Chelsea FC 4||EPL|
|Dec 1, 2013||Chelsea FC 3 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|Nov 26, 2013||Basel 1 - Chelsea FC 0||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||West Ham 0 - Chelsea FC 3||EPL|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
|12||Ricardo Vaz Te||Striker|
The striker will be keen to get on a goalscoring run after netting his side’s crucial third goal against Steaua Bucharest. His goal return of seven in 28 Premier League matches so far this season is underwhelming, but his game looks to have altered from his Liverpool days with by dropping deeper. He needs to impress to stay in the team ahead of strike rival Demba Ba.
Andy Carroll comes up against the man who he replaced at Liverpool in Torres. Like the Spaniard, he has struggled but has shown signs of promise at varying points at West Ham. With his loan spell set to expire at the end of the season he could do with an impressive showing on Sunday and may well fancy his chances of causing havoc in a not-too-impressive looking Blues defence.
The hosts head into the match on the back of timely boost of Europa League progression, but their opponents will be the fresher of the two teams. This could turn out to be a London derby packed full of goals, and Chelsea may just grab the three points.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed