Chelsea V West Ham - Opta Preview

Chelsea v West Ham United

After last Sunday's 5-1 drubbing of West Ham, Chelsea should be more than confident of progressing to the fifth round of the FA Cup during this clash. But the Blues have been inconsistency personified this season and coach Claudio Ranieri will not be taking anything for granted.

Hammers hero Paolo Di Canio's was sent off in that meeting between the clubs, but his period of suspension has yet to start so he should be available for selection. Indeed, as the Italian's protracted move to Manchester United appears to have fallen through, he should be on the club's books for some time to come and that will be a massive relief for manager Glenn Roeder.

Di Canio has scored in three of West Ham's last four wins, highlighting his vast importance to the side. Indeed the Hammers often lack stability without their Italian maestro, and as he has fired in 36 shots this season - more than any other player at the club - Di Canio is likely to be the focal point of most of West Ham's attacks.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink used to claim that role for the Blues. But this season has seen other Chelsea players share the goalscoring burden. The emergence of Icelandic forward Eidur Gudjohnsen has been a huge bonus for the club, while Gianfranco Zola's wonder strike against Norwich in the previous round of the Cup shows that he is not yet a spent force.

So far this season, Gudjohnsen has managed to fire 10 goals and set up a further five strikes for team-mates, which is a remarkable feat for a player who started the campaign largely on the sidelines. Indeed, on average, the former Bolton forward has either scored or created a goal every 83 minutes, and no Premiership forward can better that record.

Despite the talent at his disposal, Ranieri has yet to wholly win over Blues fans and is desperate to bring some silverware back to West London. The former Fiorentina manager has yet to win a single trophy, while his popular predecessors Gianluca Vialli and Ruud Gullit brought periods of unrivalled success to Stamford Bridge. Even Glenn Hoddle managed to have a species of cactus named after him at a local garden show as thanks for his efforts as coach, despite winning nothing.

If the Blues could claim the Cup this season that would certainly improve the Italian coach's standing, and online bookmakers are offering odds of 11/2 on them achieving that feat. But the Hammers have a cup tradition of their own and if Chelsea think this derby clash is going to be a walkover, they could be in for a nasty shock.

Rupert Webster TEAM NEWS

Boudewijn Zenden is definitely ruled out with a hamstring problem but Graeme Le Saux and Jody Morris are set to return for Chelsea.

Le Saux's comeback could mean Mario Stanic's spell on the left flank comes to an end while Morris and Sam Dalla Bona are contenders to replace Emmanuel Petit in the centre of midfield.

Ranieri will also have to decide on his strike force with Mikael Forssell - who has scored four goals in as many subsitute appearances - and Gianfranco Zola offering alternatives to Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen. Celestine Babayaro is on international duty and Jesper Gronkjaer is injured.

West Ham's Trevor Sinclair is a major doubt after suffering a nasty cut to his ankle. The England international required six stitches in the wound and has not trained all week.

Vladimir Labant and Scott Minto are in contention to replace him on the left side of midfield. John Moncur is definitely out as he serves the second of a two-match ban but Steve Lomas is back from injury and could be on the bench.

Paolo di Canio returns to Stamford Bridge a week after his red card while Jermain Defoe, who netted his eighth of the season against Chelsea, is likely to be a substitute again.

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Match Result
Chelsea 1/2
Draw 12/5
West Ham 11/2

Correct Score
Chelsea 1-0 6/1
Chelsea 2-0 11/2
Chelsea 2-1 7/1
Chelsea 3-0 9/1
Chelsea 3-1 9/1
Chelsea 3-2 28/1
Chelsea 4-0 20/1
Chelsea 4-1 18/1
Chelsea 4-2 40/1
Chelsea 5-0 40/1
Chelsea 5-1 40/1
Chelsea 6-0 80/1
Chelsea 6-1 80/1
Chelsea 7-0 100/1
Chelsea 7-1 100/1
Draw 0-0 8/1
Draw 1-1 6/1
Draw 2-2 16/1
Draw 3-3 50/1
West Ham 1-0 11/1
West Ham 2-0 28/1
West Ham 2-1 20/1
West Ham 3-0 80/1
West Ham 3-1 80/1
West Ham 3-2 66/1
West Ham 4-0 100/1
West Ham 4-1 100/1
West Ham 4-2 100/1

Half Time/Full Time
Chelsea/Chelsea 11/10
Chelsea/Draw 16/1
Chelsea/West Ham 50/1
Draw/Chelsea 7/2
Draw/Draw 4/1
Draw/West Ham 12/1
West Ham/Chelsea 29/1
West Ham/Draw 16/1
West Ham/West Ham 12/1

First Goalscorer
J F Hasselbaink 5/2
E Gudjohnsen 4/1
G Zola 11/2
M Forssell 6/1
F Lampard 12/1
J Gronkjaer 12/1
B Zenden 14/1
E Petit 16/1
S Dalla-Bona 20/1
J Morris 20/1
S Jokanovic 25/1
J Keenan 25/1
M Melchiot 33/1
J Terry 33/1
W Gallas 33/1
G Le Saux 33/1
M Desailly 33/1
A Ferrer 66/1
No Scorer 8/1
F Kanoute 7/1
J Defoe 15/2
P Di Canio 15/2
P Kitson 8/1
T Sinclair 14/1
D Hutchison 14/1
M Carrick 20/1
J Cole 20/1
Courtois 25/1
S Schmemel 33/1
S Minto 40/1
R Soma 40/1
N Winterburn 50/1
H Foxe 50/1
C Dailly 50/1
T Repka 50/1

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