Chelsea - West Ham Preview: A test at Upton Park

Chelsea travels to West Ham having plenty of room for improvement on its bland Champions League outing in Kiev during midweek. The Blue...

Chelsea travels to West Ham having plenty of room for improvement on its bland Champions League outing in Kiev during midweek.

The Blues showed faint signs of returning to their form of old with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa last weekend, but a disappointing 0-0 draw away to Dynamo Kiev has interrupted their resurgence yet again.

West Ham currently sits fourth in the league with 14 points taken from its last six fixtures in the Premier League. Slaven Bilic has the Hammers flying at present, and it will take a mighty effort from an out of sorts Chelsea to end their run at Upton Park.

West Ham United Team News

The Hammers’ medical team have confirmed they will be without Winston Reid (hip) and Alex Song (ankle). Joey O’Brien (calf) hasn’t recovered in time to join up with the first-team and will instead represent the Under-21s side on Monday.

Expected West Ham United Lineup

Adrian | Jenkinson, Tomkins, Ogbonna, Creswell | Noble, Obiang, Kouyate | Lanzini, Payet, Sakho

Chelsea Team News

No fresh injury concerns for Jose Mourinho, but Pedro (ankle), Loic Remy (thigh), Branislav Ivanovic (hamstring) and Thibaut Courtois (knee) will all miss out on the trip to Upton Park.

Expected Chelsea Lineup

Key Battle

Kurt Zouma v Dimitri Payet

Young Zouma is likely to have his hands full keeping tabs on the man who has provided much of the Hammers’ spark this season. Despite conceding possession cheaply on the odd occasion, the 20-year-old Blue has been solid when asked to play on the right of defence.

Payet, who has five goals and three assists in nine Premier League appearances to date, ranks among the top ten most successful dribblers in the division and will eager to test his capable albeit raw opponent.

Previous Meeting

4 March 2015 – Upton Park

West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea

Chelsea secured a dogged 1-0 victory over the Hammers last time after Eden Hazard nodded home a Ramires cross with 22 minutes not the clock. The result pushed the Blues five points clear at the summit of the Premier League table as West Ham dropped to tenth position.

Last Five Meetings

West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea (Premier League, March 2015)
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United (Premier League, December 2014)
Chelsea 0-0 West Ham United (Premier League, January 2014)
West Ham United 0-3 Chelsea (Premier League, November 2013)
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United (Premier League, March 2013)

Score Prediction

It’s a grim fact that Chelsea has only won once in the Premier League so far this season. However, it’s also worth noting that our hosts have managed just one victory at Upton Park to date – a 2-0 win over Newcastle United in mid-September.

Some of you may disagree, but our poor result again Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday indicates we’re not yet on track to save our season. Although it seems he has finally turned a corner in this regard, Mourinho must continue selecting his team based on a combination of form and confidence.

It’s difficult to imagine Chelsea brushing West Ham aside given their impressive start to the season. I think we’ll nab a 1-1 draw. What are your score predictions?

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