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
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 2014||Premier League||Stamford Bridge||D 0-0|
|23 Nov 2013||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 3-0|
|17 Mar 2013||Premier League||Stamford Bridge||L 2-0|
|1 Dec 2012||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||W 3-1|
|23 Apr 2011||Premier League||Stamford Bridge||L 3-0|
|11 Sep 2010||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 3-1|
|13 Mar 2010||Premier League||Stamford Bridge||L 4-1|
|20 Dec 2009||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||D 1-1|
|25 Apr 2009||Premier League||Boleyn Ground||L 1-0|
|14 Dec 2008||Premier League||Stamford Bridge||D 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.
@WestHamWorld 0-1. Carroll.
— Harry. (@whuharry) December 26, 2014
— Adam⚒ (@AdamWHUFC92) December 26, 2014
— ElkTheHammer (@elkinson65) December 26, 2014
@WestHamWorld 1-0 sakho
— Tom CullyWHU (@CullyTom) December 26, 2014
— Anne Bentley (@HammersAnnie) December 26, 2014
Head-to-Head (All competitions)
|Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||For||Against||GD +/-||Win %|