The injuries are clearing up, we’ve got a couple of new faces and February looks like it could be a very promising month for us and our Premier League survival bid.
But there’s just one thing we’ve got to take care of before we start looking positively towards the future; Chelsea away.
The arrival of Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino appear to have boosted the mood and optimism surrounding the club at the moment. If they can both settle in quickly then there’s no doubting they can make a monumental impact on what has been a disastrous season up to now.
It’s going to be a challenge to keep the likes of Oscar and Eden Hazard quiet, while Frank Lampard always picks up his game against us, so Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble, Mohamed Diame and Antonio Nocerino will have their work cut out all evening.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a draw at Stamford Bridge would arguably be the result of our season so far and would give us a solid foundation to build on ahead February’s fixtures, starting with Saturday’s home game against Swansea City.
But, in hindsight, a defeat may not be so bad either, just as long as the performance is good, the debutants settle in nicely and we’re not on the end of yet another hammering – although that’s something I’m almost confident won’t happen anymore this season.
Verdict: A draw would be decent, but all we ask of is a spirited and passionate performance from the players.
Chelsea (3rd, 49 points)
Fernando Torres (knee) and Marco van Ginkel (knee) are Chelsea’s only injury worries, while new signing Mohamed Salah will not feature due to not being in the country.
Demba Ba could start for Chelsea against his former club.
West Ham United (18th, 18 points)
West Ham’s only injured player is currently Joe Cole (groin), but Winston Reid will not feature for the Hammers despite returning to training following an ankle operation.
Kevin Nolan returns from a four-match suspension, while Allardyce could give debuts to new signings Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello.
Jose Mourinho, Chelsea manager…
“We are playing well. We have to try to keep the good form we have and let things happen naturally.
“West Ham are in trouble in the table but I look at them and I feel a difficult match.
“They have new players, and they have had time to work and rest from the difficult Christmas period they had, especially because they had so many injured players.”
Sam Allardyce, West Ham United manager…
“He [Jose Mourinho] has got 25 international players to choose from.
“You’ve got to stop the quality of player which they rely on to turn the game in their favour. Stopping Oscar, Hazard, Eto’o is one of the elements for us which we have to very careful of.
“When those players get the ball we have to make sure we’re very sharp and that we close them down, otherwise their skills and abilities will make life difficult for us.”
Last ten meetings:
Match in Numbers:
7 – Chelsea are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League home meetings with West Ham.
14 – West Ham have dropped 14 points from winning positions so far this season, which is a divisional high.
2 – Mourinho’s side have dropped just two points at home this season.
5 – Frank Lampard has scored five goals in his last five league games against the Hammers.
0 – West Ham are the only Premier League side not to have scored a headed goal this season.
9 – The Hammers have kept nine clean sheets this season.
23 – But they have conceded a huge 23 goals in their last eight matches in all competitions.
50 – If he features, Ricardo Vaz Te will make his 50th league appearance for West Ham.
150 – If he starts, it will be Carlton Cole’s 150th league start for the Hammers.
— Adey Short (@BigShorty7WHU) January 29, 2014
@WestHamWorld west ham 11-0 Chelsea … Gotta do something about our goal difference
— Joshua Ballard (@jballard210) January 29, 2014
@WestHamWorld im gonna be brutally honest… Chelsa (Fatty) 1-6 West Ham (Nocerino x5, R.Johnson)
— Johnny (@JohnEddy1) January 29, 2014
— ECowan (@edclairecowan) January 29, 2014
— ⚒Martyn Stewart⚒ (@martWHU) January 29, 2014
Head-to-Head (all competitions):
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