Chelsea will welcome fellow London team West Ham this weekend knowing a win would place them in the top 10 spot for the first time in almost 2 and a half months of Premier League action.
However, just when you thought that all was going to be good for the men in blue after a much-needed win against Aston Villa last weekend, a draw against Dynamo Kyiv proved that problems haven’t gone anywhere away from the Chelsea squad.
In his pre-match conference in the build-up to this fixture, Jose Mourinho was bullish about the English media whom he claimed to have “something against him”. However, if he keeps on blaming the referees every time his team drops points, Jose Mourinho will continue to get the same treatment from the press.
While their hosts are struggling to keep form coming into this game, West Ham are in their best form of life at the moment. Having defeated the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City away from home, Slaven Bilic is a man who has done has defied all expectations till date.
Sitting 4th place in the Premier League table, the former Croatia National team manager deserves to be applauded. When West Ham sacked Sam Allardyce in the summer, eyebrows were raised as Hammers grabbed a respectable 12th in the League. They briefly flirted with relegation during last Season but were secure for the most part.
What they might not have seen coming is the Slaven Bilic effect that has reinvigorated the team this Season. Being dubbed as the giant-killers, West Ham have everything in their coffer to upset Jose Mourinho on Saturday.
Here are team News for both sides.
Coming into this game Chelsea have 2 players who have been ruled out. While Branislav Ivanovic suffered his injury on International duty while Thibaut Courtois injured himself with the club, both of them have been ruled out for a considerable time period.
One player whose fitness might cause Jose Mourinho to sweat is Pedro Rodriguez. He missed the mid-week game against Dynamo Kyiv and is a doubt leading to this fixture. Loic Remy is another doubt but the presence of Diego Costa in the Chelsea lineup will surely compensate for this loss.
Of the three players that have been ruled out of this fixture for West Ham, the Hammers will surely miss the presence of former Chelsea player Victor Moses. The midfielder scored the opening goal against Manchester City and might be a big miss for West Ham on Saturday.
Key Battle – Dimitri Payet Vs Gary Cahill
No matter how hard you try to under-rate him, Dimitri Payet is one midfielder who has been in top form this Season. With 5 goals and 3 assists to his names already, the Frenchman will pose a major threat to Jose Mourinho who is hoping to get his team back on track.
Head to Head
Both these teams have met each other 103 times before, Chelsea lead the way with 47 wins with 47 victories going towards the way of West Ham
Begovic – Zouma – Cahill – Terry – Azpilicueta – Fabregas – Matic – Hazard – Oscar – Willian – Costa
Adrian – Cresswell – Ogbonna – Tomkins – Jenkinson – Noble – Kouyate – Valencia – Payet – Lanzini – Sakho
It’s gonna be a tight game, however on current form and the belief surrounding both clubs, I’m going for a West Ham win in this one.