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Preview: Time for Chelsea to focus on West Ham.

After the international break, Chelsea resume their Premier League campaign at West Ham on Saturday and its another chance for Chelsea to gr...

After the international break, Chelsea resume their Premier League campaign at West Ham on Saturday and its another chance for Chelsea to grab another early three points. With United away in a tricky game at Everton we simply have to win and I have to say, the way we are playing right now, West Ham's dismal start to their season and pressure mounting already on Avram Grant, I can only see a Chelsea win.

Mar 13, 2010 - London, England, UK - Premier League: Chelsea 4 v 1 West Ham United.Chelsea's FRANK LAMPARD and VARON BEHRAMI of West Ham.


Of course much of the focus will be on Frank Lampard and John Terry if they are included in the side on Saturday. After missing the two England internationals after suffering injuries against Stoke two weeks ago expect all the talk to be about these two. Expect stick from all areas with these two but I am sure they will rise to the challenge.


Avram Grant Manager West Ham United 2010/11 Manchester United V West Ham United (3-0) 28/08/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom


The only other focus that will deter away from them will be the situation Avram Grant and his side are facing at West Ham at the moment. There has already been reports in the press that he has been given a couple of games at most to save his job which is ridiculous really but this is the harsh reality of football. There is no time for sentiment especially as its Avram Grant and Carlo Ancelotti's side will be focused on playing well and regaining the momentum we have had over the last three games.

To be brutally honest (Sorry West Ham fans) but on paper even before the game this is an away win in anyone's book. Added to that the form both sides are in and the way Chelsea are playing you can more or less put your mortgage on a Chelsea win on Saturday. I think even the most staunch fans from East London will feel deep down in their hearts that it will be difficult for any kind of result against us.

johan elmander gets his second and bolton's third FA Barclays Premiership. West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers. 21.08.10 Photo By Karl Winter Fotosports International Photo via Newscom


West Ham have lost 3-0 away at Villa, 3-1 at home to Bolton and in their last Premier League game, 3-0 away at Old Trafford. That's 9 goals conceded and just a single goal from the penalty spot scored. Chelsea by comparison have scored 14 goals and conceded none at the moment.

Before we right off West Ham totally before the game has started lets just look at the possible threat West Ham can pose Chelsea. First of all they would of had plenty of time to prepare for the game with the internationals over the last week or so. With these reports about Grant's position in charge appearing you should expect Grants famous "back to the wall" mentality he installed at Portsmouth to become apparent in the next few games.

Mar 13, 2010 - London, England, UK - Premier League: Chelsea 4 v 1 West Ham United.West Ham's SCOTT PARKER celebrates his goal.


The big plus for West Ham is Scott Parker. Its a massive boost to the club he has remained there and as ever will be "up and at it" in the midfield and will look to get in amongst our midfield but I am sorry to say he faces a hard battle on his own in there against Lampard, Essien and Mikel. I can't see that Noble next to him will pose us the same threat to our play as Parker does and its my view that West Ham need to strengthen in the middle of the park.

Boa Morte is always a pain in the arse and works hard but at times lack's discipline and the finished product. Look out for fireworks between him and Lamps once more as it has been more than fiesty between these two latley. Kieron Dyer is a player I do rate but has spent too much time on the sidelines in his career and its too early for him to be anywhere near his best. Saturday up against Ashley Cole he will have his work cut out.

Mar 13, 2010 - London, England, UK - Premier League: Chelsea 4 v 1 West Ham United.Chelsea's DIDIER DROGBA and DANNY GABBIDON of West Ham.


For me and maybe, just maybe, the Hammers fans will agree with me, the main problem with West Ham is they are weak at the back. I do not believe Gabbidon is Premier League quality and as a result Matty Upson struggles in the heart of their defence. I am sure Gabbidon has good games at times but for me up against Drogba, Anelka and Malouda who are all scoring goals already, he just doesn't cut it.

The same can be said of Spector and Ilunga. These two faced with the movement of our front three and the possible threat out wide from Cole and Ferreira getting forward will struggle. They may pose their own threat to Chelsea but I can't see it and predict they will be forced further back into their own half rather than pushing forward.

Manchester United's John O' Shea (R) challenges West Ham United's Carlton Cole during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester August 28, 2010.  REUTERS/ Eddie Keogh (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE ++44 (0)


West Ham do however pose a goal threat. Carlton Cole, underrated by many will always look to do well against Chelsea so it will be interesting to see who marks him whether its JT or Alex. Whoever does, should expect a hard game.

West Ham at home look to attack teams and so far under Grant in their only game at home, have gone with the two up front with Pompey old boy and a player I definatley rate Frederic Piquionne next to Cole. He poses a different pacey threat to our back line so when the Hammers have possession of the ball we need to be aware of his runs in behind or down the channels. Cole and Ferreira need to be aware.

A dejected Robert Green sits in the net after conceding West Ham United's third goal West Ham United 2010/11 Manchester United V West Ham United 28/08/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom


Its a shame really that their defence and midfield (excluding Parker) are not good enough at the moment. Hammers fans do not need me to tell them about it as I am sure they are aware themselves. To lose away at Villa is hardly a bad result but to lose at home to Bolton is definatley a game their would of had as a three points won before the season started.

With the pressure on Grant at the moment, it will be interesting to see if it filters through to the fans and the players on the pitch. The longer the game goes on West Ham could slip into rushing the game and their passes and this of course plays right into Chelsea's hands.

Chelsea could ease their way into the game as we did to begin with away at Wigan. I have spoken about it in my August Review Video part 2 the fact that Chelsea more or less started the game saying to Wigan, "Show us your threat, show us what you can do" and then flipped a switch, stepped up a gear and destroyed them in the second half which is no disrespect to them, but it's true we did.

I am hoping that we do start of well and play with the tempo Carlo always speaks about. If we play at a quick tempo and get our passes going it will be a great sign for Chelsea. West Ham will look to keep compact and shut any space in and around their box down but will find it difficult for 90 minutes against our fluid football.

Stamford Bridge, Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion, Premier League 14/08/2010 Florent Malouda of Chelsea celebrates his 1st goal with Didier Drogba, John Obi, Nicolas Anelka & Ashley Cole of Chelsea Photo Marc Atkins Fotosports International Photo via Newscom


I think anyone we play at the moment will find it hard to compete with Carlo Ancelotti's 4-3-3 formation (as per the article I posted on CFCNet) and West Ham are no different.

Again though, as stated in the beginning of this preview its all about points at the moment so if West Ham made life extremely difficult for Chelsea and we nick a 1-0 win I would bite your hand of to take that right now.

However, I expect Chelsea to remain unchanged with Ramires on the bench once more, and with the boys playing well, enjoying their football and playing together, Drogba, Lampard, Anelka and the impressive Malouda all scoring goals already this season, I can only see a Chelsea win by more than one.

No disrespect Hammers fans, we have the quality to hit 4, 5 or 6 on our day but I will go for a Chelsea 3-0 win based on paper, form and the quality we have in our side throughout the team.

That will be the difference come five o'clock Saturday night and more woe for the Hammers and Avram Grant.

Carefree & KTBFFH!

Football - West Ham United v Chelsea Barclays Premier League - Upton Park - 25/4/09..Frank Lampard salutes the Chelsea fans after the final whistle Photo via Newscom

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