CHELSEA v West Ham: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Sunday, 17 March

Kick-off: 16.00 GMT

Ok, after a win in the Europa League midweek on the back of a spirited fight-back to get a draw against United in the FA Cup, it’s back to the bread and butter of the Premier League and more than a bit of a battle to get ourselves into the sort of position we’ve become used to in recent years.

The battle for the title (if there ever really was one this season) is all but decided now, so it’s just a matter of who’ll take the rest of the Champions League spots.  I have to say I’m not convinced we’ll be amongst them if the interim stays but our players have shown us a glimpse of their former fighting spirit recently, so maybe there’s some hope yet.

Today, it’s a home game against West Ham and the last time we met them, they were the ones with the fight, coming back from behind to beat us 3-1. Their record at the Bridge doesn’t favour them though, so we’ll just have to hope it’s a record that continues this afternoon.

 

MANAGER’S VIEW

Going into this afternoon’s game, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is hoping the home crowd prove to be the twelfth man – for his side – saying You can see the importance of your fans being behind you rather than not.  I think Chelsea’s team has suffered at Stamford Bridge because the fans have not been fully supportive of what has happened. That is nothing to do with Rafa, he can’t help that.  He is a manager trying to do a job the best he possibly can and he’s obviously got a great CV at the jobs he has done at his other clubs.  But it shows the importance of a volatile fan base that turned the other way, what effect it can have on a team.  In the reverse of that we all know the extra man that fans can create. You see the opposite of that at Chelsea and certainly in the early stages when Rafa took over and Chelsea suffered some poor results because of that. That’s the effect the fans have on the team that plays on the field.”

And with us having played midweek, Allardyce has hopes for a double this season, saying “It would be our first double of the year, we’ve had many other opportunities that we’ve blown,  It would be an absolutely unbelievable result for us to win at Stamford Bridge and do the double over Chelsea in the same season. It’s one of those things that happens rarely, for you to be able to beat a top side home and away.  It’s a great incentive for the lads to go out there and achieve that on Sunday.

“On the basis that they played on Thursday night, we certainly should have the energy levels to cope with as best we can the quality that Chelsea have.  The high intensity levels that we’ll need to achieve to nullify a Chelsea side are pretty big, especially out of possession.  We should have enough to try and stay in the game as long as possible. We obviously want to score first if we can, but if we can’t as long as we keep the game tight then inevitably they must tire based on the workload they have had and you can find some gaps and spaces.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, Romeu (knee) is our only absentee through injury. Whether or not we’ll see Lampard and Ba, who missed out midweek – Lampard on the bench and Ba ineligible – remains down to the interim.

For West Ham, Joe Cole (hamstring), George McCartney (knee) miss out and Kevin Nolan (hamstring) is given as a doubt. Mark Noble (arm) and James Tomkins (illness) should be available.

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Luiz, Lampard, Oscar, Mata, Hazard, Ba

WEST HAM (Possible line-up): Jääskeläinen, Demel, Collins, Reid, O’Brien, Taylor, Diamé, Collison, Vaz Te, Cole, Carroll

 

LAST MEETING

West Ham 3-1 Chelsea (1st December 2012)

PREDICTION

Even when we’ve been in some of our poorest form, March seems to be the month we shake off the winter woes and wake up. Can the interim follow suit though? You’d have to be a clairvoyant to predict a Chelsea game these days to be honest!

2 Responses to “CHELSEA v West Ham: Preview”

  1. This used to be a great site, but now it seems to be rarely up to date… (Not the first comment on this, I know). Is it better to end it if you’ve lost the enthusiasm? Used to be my go to, Now… It’s not. It’d be great if you want to turn it round tho. ?

  2. Its never a lack of enthusiasm