Chelsea will be hoping for derby day success when they welcome capital rivals West Ham United to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues, for all of their perceived troubles, remain inside the Premier League’s top four and on course to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Kickoff is at 4pm.
Chelsea have taken 28 points from a possible 48 in the league under Rafa Benitez (W8, D4, L4). It’s the fourth-best record over this period, behind Manchester United, Tottenham and Manchester City. Faith in Benitiz has not been resorted fully but they turned around their Europa League tie on Thursday and the team will be on a high coming in to this vital match.
Sam Allardyce’s West Ham team came from behind to triumph 3-1 in the teams previous encounter this season, but they haven’t won at Stamford Bridge for just over a decade. West Ham have won two of their last four games though and collected a third away win of the season at Stoke on their last away day, bringing to an end a run that had seen them collect just one point from the last 24 available on the road.
Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Moses, Mata, Hazard; Ba. SUBS Turnbull, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand, Mikel, Oscar, Torres.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Collins, O’Brien; O’Neil, Diame, Collison, Jarvis; Vaz Te, Carroll. SUBS Spiegel, McCartney, Pogatetz, Tomkins, Taylor, C.Cole, Chamakh.
Players to watch
Fernando Torres has gone 11 hours and 22 minutes since last scoring a Premier League goal. This shows how much pressure there is on Ba when he plays up front. He is a danger in the air and on the ground, no matter what he will cause problems for the Hammers defenders.
West Ham managed to score twice against Tottenham a couple of weeks ago in a gallant performance. One of those goals came from Andy Carroll. He has so much abundance and strength he will cause problems for Terry once he is on the pitch.