Chelsea vs West Ham preview

Game : Chelsea ( 2nd-33 points) vs West Ham United ( 16th-18 points)

Competition : English Premier League

Venue : Stamford Bridge, London

Date : Sunday, December 14

Kickoff : 16.00 GMT

Gianfranco Zola makes a return to the club where he cemented his reputation as one of the Premiership’s best overseas players ever when West Ham United travel to Stamford Bridge to meet London rivals Chelsea.

West Ham have managed to win only once in their last ten games, and have struggled to find the back of the net in recent outings. Danny Gabbidon, Dean Ashton, Jonathan Spector and Kieron Dyer will be absentees for the Hammers. Midfielder Lee Bowyer is also a doubt with a hip injury, although he did make it to training recently.

West Ham United Last five games ( all competitions- West Ham scorers indicated in brackets)

West Ham United 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool 0-0 West Ham
Sunderland 0-1 West Ham ( Valon Behrami)
West Ham 0-0 Portsmouth
West Ham 1-3 Everton ( Jack Collison)

West Ham United- away form- last five games

Liverpool 0-0 West Ham
Sunderland 0-1 West Ham ( Valon Behrami)
M’Boro 1-1 West Ham ( Hayden Mullins)
Manchester United 2-0 West Ham
Hull City 1-0 West Ham

Chelsea have conceded only five times at the Bridge this season, and it is unlikely that West Ham will affect that record too much. The Blues could go to the top if they win, and Liverpool fail to do so against Hull on Saturday. Centre back Ricardo Carvalho has recovered from injury, but Scolari is expected to persist with the pairing of Ivanovic and Terry as the Portuguese defender is short on match fitness. Scolari has both Drogba and Anelka available for this clash, and will have to choose between one of them.

Chelsea last five games ( all competitions)

Chelsea 2-1 CFR Cluj ( UCL) ( Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba)
Bolton 0-2 Chelsea ( Nicolas Anelka, Deco)
Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal
Bordeaux 1-1 Chelsea ( Nicolas Anelka)
Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle

Chelsea home form last five games

Chelsea 2-1 CFR Cluj ( UCL) ( Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba)
Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal
Chelsea 0-0 Newcastle
Chelsea 1-1 Burnley ( Carling Cup) ( Didier Drogba)
Chelsea 5-0 Sunderland ( Nicolas Anelka*3, Frank Lampard, Alex)

Corresponding fixture last season :-

Chelsea 1-0 West Ham ( Joe Cole)

Zola is likely to pack his midfield, and hope that the Hammers can come away with a point from the Bridge. I still think Chelsea will be too strong for them. 2-0 to Chelsea, with Lampard and Anelka scoring.

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