After securing the season’s first trophy with a comprehensive 2-0 win at Wembley against Tottenham, Chelsea travel to Upton Park on Wednesday to play West Ham United in the Premier League. Both Jose Mourinho and the Chelsea players will be looking to resume their title charge with Manchester City having lost to Liverpool at the weekend.
TEAM NEWS, INJURY UPDATES AND SUSPENSIONS
Nemanja Matic will be serving the last of his two-match ban after he was sent off by Martin Atkinson for pushing Ashley Barnes to the ground following a dangerous tackle. John Obi Mikel, who was out with a knee injury, is set to return to the squad on Wednesday. Costa is again expected to lead the line after an impressive display on Sunday. Oscar may be called back into the starting lineup after he was left on the bench against Tottenham. Juan Cuadrado may replace Willian. Ramires will partner Fabregas in midfield, with Terry and Zouma playing as centre halves. Ivanovic will continue as right-back while Filipe Luis may be used as left-back. Courtois is set to return to the starting eleven.
West Ham United
Morgan Amalfitano remains suspended after his dismissal against West Brom in the FA Cup. Carlton Cole is out with a muscular injury while Andy Carroll is a long-term absentee. West Ham will be starting with a lone striker in Enner Valencia, supported by Kevin Nolan, Stewart Downing, Kouyate, Noble and Alex Song. The back four will comprise Jenkinson, Reid, Tomkins and Cresswell. Adrian will man the posts.
Chelsea are unbeaten in the league since new year’s eve. Although they played out a disappointing draw against Burnley at home last weekend, Chelsea will be radiating confidence after securing the first silverware of the season. On the night of the League Cup win, Manchester City were defeated by Liverpool at Anfield, which means that Chelsea still hold the five-point lead with a game in hand. Chelsea know that winning the game in hand will increase the lead to eight points, which at this stage should be unassailable.
West Ham United
West Ham sit 9th in the league table. Sam Allardyce’s team started very well in the league, although they fell off the pace somewhere in the middle. West Ham are without a win in their last six fixtures in all competitions. They also lost 3-1 to 12th placed Crystal Palace on the weekend. With just one win in their last six league matches, even Europa League seems a distant dream.
Jose Mourinho has never tasted defeat against West Ham United, with 6 wins and 1 draw. West Ham United have failed to score in the their last 4 matches against Chelsea.
LAST 5 PREMIER LEAGUE MEETINGS
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United 26/12/2014
Chelsea 0-0 West Ham United 29/01/2014
West Ham United 0-3 Chelsea 23/11/2013
Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United 17/03/2013
West Ham United 3-1 Chelsea 01/12/2012
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UPS
Chelsea: Courtois (GK), Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry (C), Luis, Ramires, Fabregas, Hazard, Oscar, Cuadrado, Costa.
West Ham United: Adrian (GK), Jenkinson, Reid, Tomkins, Cresswell, Noble, Nolan (C), Kouyate, Song, Downing, Valencia
West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea
Time: 1945 GMT / 0115 IST
Venue: Upton Park
Referee: Andre Marriner
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni