Twelves months ago we were preparing for a home clash with Arsenal, knowing that a loss could see us slip in to the bottom three – which it did.

Now were gearing up for a completely different proposition. Chelsea away. The chance to go third in the Premier League with a win. The chance to prove to the rest of the country that we do actually deserve to be where we are.

Last season we parked the bus at Stamford Bridge and earned a 0-0 draw. That proved to be the catalyst to a four game unbeaten run and Premier League survival.

That’s how I expect Sam Allardyce to approach this one today. Our style of play has been a breath of fresh air this season, but the opportunity to get something at Stamford Bridge could see Allardyce revert back for just 90 minutes.

That said, he could go all out and try and take the game to Chelsea. But Chelsea are completely different animal when they’re playing in their own back garden and taking it to them might cause them to hit fifth gear and punish us.

I’d take a point. All day long. But we mustn’t be too disheartened if we leave with nothing today. As I mentioned earlier, this time last year we slipping in to the relegation zone. Now we’re hoping three points can help preserve our top four status.

Funny ol’ game.

Prediction: 19th Century Football

Team News

Chelsea (1st, 42 points)

Eden Hazard is a major doubt after he suffered an ankle injury in Chelsea’s win at Stoke early in the week.

Oscar could be recalled in his place after missing out last week.

West Ham United (4th, 31 points)

Mark Noble returns to the Hammers squad after sitting out the last month with an achilles injury.

But centre-half James Tomkins could sit out after limping off in the 2-0 win over Leicester with a hamstring problem.

Last 10 Meetings

29 Jan 2014Premier LeagueStamford BridgeD 0-0
23 Nov 2013Premier LeagueBoleyn GroundL 3-0
17 Mar 2013Premier LeagueStamford BridgeL 2-0
1 Dec 2012Premier LeagueBoleyn GroundW 3-1
23 Apr 2011Premier LeagueStamford BridgeL 3-0
11 Sep 2010Premier LeagueBoleyn GroundL 3-1
13 Mar 2010Premier LeagueStamford BridgeL 4-1
20 Dec 2009Premier LeagueBoleyn GroundD 1-1
25 Apr 2009Premier LeagueBoleyn GroundL 1-0
14 Dec 2008Premier LeagueStamford BridgeD 1-1

Match in Numbers

8 – West Ham have not won any of their last eight visits to Stamford Bridge.

12 – That’s years since the Hammers last won at Stamford Bridge – Paolo Di Canio scoring twice in a 3-2 win.

8 – Chelsea have won all eight of their Premier League home matches this season.

9 – And Jose Mourinho’s side are unbeaten in their last nine Boxing Day fixtures.

4 – The Hammers have won four of their last five games.

8 – West Ham have scored in their last eight Premier League away games.

1 – The two sides have met just once previously on Boxing Day. The Hammers running out 4-2 winners in 1973.

Fan Predictions

Head-to-Head (All competitions)

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