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CHELSEA v WEST HAM
There does indeed appear to be at least one London derby in every set of games these days. This week's instalment comes at Stamford Bridge, where the struggling Hammers look to put one over on Chelsea in what is historically a pretty even fixture.
In the last four seasons, Chelsea and West Ham have drawn four times; the Blues have won three matches and the Hammers the other two. Equally, of those matches, the four at Stamford Bridge have seen a West Ham win in 1998-99, Chelsea winning the last two on their own turf and a draw in the other match.
Zola Kanoute 564 Minutes on pitch 446 5 Goals 2 36% Goals/Shots % 14% 7 Shots on target 5 50% Shooting Acuracy % 36% 1 Assists 1 0 Offsides 7 0 Yellow Cards 1 0 Red Cards 0
But there can be little doubt which side is having the better of things at the moment. The Hammers are rooted to the foot of the table with just two points from six games, while Chelsea are in third, unbeaten so far and with three wins under their belt.
The difference between the fortunes of the two sides is evident in their form up front. West Ham have put away a decidedly disappointing 6% of their efforts on goal, while their capital counterparts have a ratio ten percentage points more impressive. However, the source of their goals has not been the man more often expected to be on the Chelsea score sheet.
Last season was the first time that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has failed to end as top scorer in whichever division he is plying his trade. It seems to have affected him badly - he is yet to open his top-flight account this term (and has just one elsewhere, in the UEFA Cup), and has even suffered the ignominy of being relegated to the substitutes' bench for two of the Blues' seven matches.
But the Dutch striker will be pleased to see West Ham on the horizon. He has rarely had a poor match against the Hammers for either Chelsea or Leeds, with four goals against them for his former employers and another five since his return to England.
Chelsea also have Gianfranco Zola to keep them ticking along nicely. West Ham have just three players with at least one goal to their credit so far, while French striker Frederic Kanoute is the only player with two. That makes four goals in all for the Hammers. Not exactly inspiring stuff.
But the visiting fans will be hoping that the passion of a local derby will be just what is needed to fire up their side and provide them with their first victory of 2002-03. A long shot it may well be - but if you want to score goals, you have to have shots, after all.
Match Betting: Chelsea 1/2 Draw 12/5 West Ham
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