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Match Preview: Chelsea FC vs West Ham United FC

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Chelsea host West Ham United in the first London Derby of the year and the last game before the transfer window closes. With fixtures coming thick & fast hereafter and the difference in points among the top 3 still minimal, the struggling Hammers are an opponent Chelsea will love to play in their backyard.

DATE & TIME: January 29, 2014 at 14:45 EST; January 29, 2014 at 19:45 GMT; January 29, 2014 at 20:45 WAT; January 29, 2014 at 21:45 CAT; January 29, 2014 at 22:45 EAT; January 30, 2014 at 01:15 IST.

VENUE: Stamford Bridge, London, United Kingdom.

TV/STREAMING NEWS: The match will be telecast live on Fox Sports 1 on Australia, Supersport 5/HD2 Africa in African sub-continent, TSN & RDS in Canada, beIN Sports Arabia 7 HD in Egypt, Star Sports 4 & Star Sports HD2 in India, Fox Sports HD in Italy, J Sports 4 in Japan, Astro Supersport HD in Malaysia, Fox Sports 4 in Netherlands, Gol Stadium & C+ Liga de Campeones HD in Spain,  beIN Sports Arabia 7 HD in UAE, and Premier League Extra Time in USA.
The game is not being telecast in UK.
The match is available online on NBC Sports Live Extra in USA.
Chelsea TV will have live audio of the game.
You can also catch the game on TalkSport Radio if you’re in Australia, Canada, Malaysia or US.

CHELSEA FC SQUAD NEWS: Mohammad Salah will not be part of the matchday squad as he won’t reach London before the deadline for the game, although all formalities of his deal has been completed. Marco van Ginkel is still out, but he is expected to make a quicker return to football than anticipated earlier. Fernando Torres is also injured and not expected to return to first-team action before late February.
Predicted Starting XI: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Ramires, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Eto’o.

WEST HAM UNITED FC SQUAD NEWS: Winston Reid is back in training for the Hammers but will not feature in this fixture. Marco Borriello will also miss the game. West Ham’s latest signing Antonio Nocerino might get a debut.
Predicted Starting XI: Adrián, Demmel, Tomkins, Collins, Rat, Noble, Morrison, Downing, Nolan, Jarvis, Carroll.

REFEREE: Neil Swarbrick.

FORM INDEX: Chelsea – DWWWW; West Ham – LLDLWL.

THOUGHTS FROM THE ENEMY: Sam Allardyce believes West Ham, who are struggling at the  moment can nick a result against the high-flying Blues at Stamford Bridge and cited West Brom’s performance against Chelsea earlier this season to motivate his boys.

“We can’t go to Chelsea and lie down. We can’t go to Chelsea and think that we’re not going to get a result. When all said and done, West Bromwich Albion should have beaten Chelsea this season. In a one-off game, if you play to your best and Chelsea aren’t functioning at their best, then you can get to the end result like West Brom did. It can be achieved at any one time in any one game and we’ve got to believe that it can be achieved.”

FUN TRIVIA:

  • Chelsea have won 7 of their last 8 home matches against West Ham in all competitions.
  • The first-ever league meeting between the two clubs ended goal-less.
  • Chelsea’s biggest win over West Ham came on 9 April 1966 at Stamford Bridge, when the Blues thumped the Hammers 6-2.
  • Frank Lampard was an West Ham United academy graduate, having made 187 appearances and scored 38 goals for the club between 1995 & 2001.

Chelsea play Manchester City away in the next Premier League fixture and the game against West Ham United promises to be the perfect stage rehearsal before the crucial tie, albeit against a much weaker opponent with the lucrative bonus of three points and an opportunity to stay close to City and Arsenal.

“We have to drink champagne because we are improving a lot, the team and the players, so the prospects of champagne in the future are good. We are going in a good direction.”

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