Chelsea match preview

West Ham United v Chelsea
Barclays Premier League
Boleyn Ground
Saturday 25 April
Referee: Mike Dean


• West Ham United welcome Guus Hiddink's Chelsea for the club's 17th home fixture of the 2008/09 Barclays Premier League season.

• West Ham have dedicated Saturday's fixture to raising awareness and funds for Richard House children's hospice. Richard House, situated in Beckton, is one of West Ham's two designated charities. London's first children's hospice, Richard House has been providing free care and treatment for youngsters with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and assistance to their families since it was opened in 2000. Collections will take place around the Boleyn Ground, while West Ham's players will warm-up in Richard House t-shirts.

• Gianfranco Zola's side go into the match in seventh place in the Premier League table. West Ham have 45 points from their 33 matches and sit a point clear of local rivals Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur with five games remaining. A seventh-place finish will be good enough to qualify for next season's UEFA Europa League.

• Chelsea go into Saturday's fixture third in the Premier League table with 68 points from 33 matches, three points behind second-placed Liverpool and six behind leaders Manchester United.

• West Ham have won eight home league matches (Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, Stoke City, Fulham, Hull City, Manchester City and Sunderland), drawn two (Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion) and lost six (Bolton Wanderers, Arsenal, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Manchester United).

• The Hammers go into the match unbeaten in their last four home matches in all competitions, and have not conceded a goal in their last three home Premier League fixtures. Since losing 1-0 to Manchester United on 8 February, West Ham have drawn 1-1 with Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round and beaten Manchester City 1-0, drawn 0-0 with West Bromwich Albion and overcome Sunderland 2-0.

• West Ham are looking to complete the season unbeaten against Chelsea for the first time since 2002/03, when the Hammers won 3-2 at Stamford Bridge and 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground.

• This is the 82nd league meeting between the two sides. West Ham have won 34, Chelsea have won 31 and there have been 16 draws.

• A minute's applause will be held before Saturday's game to honour the memories of former West Ham winger Jimmy Neighbour and Mike Keen, father of Hammers' first-team coach Kevin . Neighbour, who passed away at the age of 58 on 11 April, made 96 appearances for the club between September 1979 and November 1982, scoring six goals including the goal that took the Hammers to the 1981 League Cup final. Keen, a former Queens Park Rangers, Luton Town and Watford player and Watford and Wycombe Wanderers manager, passed away on 12 April at the age of 69.


• The referee is Mike Dean.

• Dean, 40, began refereeing in 1985, starting out his career in senior football in the Northern Premier League.

• In 2004, Dean took charge of his first international match, a friendly between the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland at Amsterdam Arena. That same year, he took control of the FA Community Shield between Arsenal and Manchester United.

• In May 2006, he refereed the Championship play-off final between Leeds United and Watford at the Millennium Stadium. Last year, he was the man-in-the-middle for the FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium.

Last time out

Saturday 18 April 2009
Barclays Premier League
Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham United
West Ham United: Green, Tomkins, Upson, Collins (Dyer 33), Ilunga, Neill, Boa Morte, Stanislas (Savio 74), Noble, Di Michele (Sears 81), Tristan
Subs not used: Lastuvka, Lopez, Payne, Hines
Booked: Noble, Boa Morte, Upson
Goal: Tristan 85

Wednesday 22 April 2009
Barclays Premier League
Chelsea 0-0 Everton
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Ballack, Essien (Mikel 60), Lampard, Drogba, Anelka (Kalou 60), Malouda (Di Santo 77)
Subs not used: Hilario, Belletti, Mancienne, Mellis

West Ham United

• West Ham go into the match seeking to extend their unbeaten home run in all competitions to five matches. Since losing 1-0 to Manchester United on 8 February, the Hammers have drawn 1-1 with Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fifth round and beaten Manchester City 1-0, drawn 0-0 with West Brom and overcome Sunderland 2-0 in the Premier League.

• West Ham's biggest ever home win over Chelsea came on Valentine's Day 1981, when a goal apiece from Alan Devonshire and David Cross and a brace from Trevor Brooking secured a 4-0 victory at the Boleyn Ground. Chelsea were managed by Geoff Hurst.

However, the Hammers did beat the Blues 5-0 in the London League during the Second World War, with future manager Ted Fenton, Archie Macauley, Alec George Foreman, Len Goulden and Joseph Stanley Foxall netting a goal apiece on 20 December 1941.

• West Ham's most recent home win over Chelsea came on 3 May 2003, when Brooking's Hammers won 1-0 through a goal from substitute Paolo Di Canio.

• West Ham have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last seven Premier League matches, the longest run in the top division.

• Carlton Cole is West Ham's top scorer in the Premier League this season with nine goals. He has eleven in all competitions.

• Goalkeeper Robert Green is the only West Ham player to have played every minute of the club's 33 Premier League matches so far this season. Matthew Upson has started 32 games, Herita Ilunga 30 and Lucas Neill 29.

• Carlton Cole has unleashed more shots on target (45), off target (29) and in total (74) and made more assists (5) than any other West Ham player. Cole has also been caught offside (28) and committed more fouls (62) than any of his team-mates.

• Defender Matthew Upson has made more defensive clearances (52) and blocks (28) than any other West Ham player.

• Mark Noble has delivered more crosses (30) than any other Hammers player.


• Chelsea have lost just one of the 15 matches they have played in all competitions since Guus Hiddink took temporary charge at Stamford Bridge on 11 February, a 1-0 defeat at Tottenham on 21 March. Aside from reaching the FA Cup final by beating Watford, Coventry City and Everton and UEFA Champions League semi-finals with victories over Juventus and Liverpool, Hiddink has also led the Blues on a run of just one defeat in their last eight Premier League matches.

• Hiddink, 62, has brought a team to the Boleyn Ground once before during his management career. On August 2003, the Dutchman's PSV Eindhoven beat newly-relegated West Ham 2-1. Richard Garcia gave the Hammers a 35th minute lead before second half goals from future Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman and Danish winger Dennis Rommedahl secured victory for the visitors. The game marked Joe Cole's final game for West Ham before his £6.6m move to Stamford Bridge.

• Hiddink managed Lucas Neill during his spell in charge of Australia between July 2005 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

• The Blues have the best defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded just 20 goals in 33 matches.

• Chelsea's biggest ever win at the Boleyn Ground came last season, when goals from Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Ballack and Ashley Cole secured a 4-0 success for the Blues. Former Hammer Lampard was also sent-off nine minutes before half-time with Chelsea already 3-0 up.

• Chelsea have gone a record 109 Premier League matches without losing consecutive games. That run will stretch to 110 at the Boleyn Ground.

• France striker Nicolas Anelka is the Premier League's joint top scorer with 15 goals - matching the tally of Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo. Anelka has 21 in all competitions. Lampard has netted 12 league goals and 19 in all competitions.

• Lampard has started all 33 of Chelsea's Premier League matches this season. Anelka has started 28 and made four substitute appearances, while John Terry and Petr Cech have made 30 starts each.

• Chelsea have had more shots off target (256) than any other Premier League club this season.

• Lampard has unleashed more shots in total (131), on target (88) and off target (43) than any other Chelsea player. Lampard also has more assists (nine) than any of his team-mates this term, the joint-highest number in the Premier League.

• Bosingwa has delivered more crosses (63) this season than any of his colleagues.

• Michael Ballack has committed more fouls (34) than any other Chelsea player, while Ashley Cole has won the most free-kicks (45) for his side.

• John Terry has made more defensive blocks (23) and clearances (26) than any other Chelsea player.

• Goalkeeper Petr Cech has kept 17 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, second only to Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar, who has shut out his opponents on 19 occasions.

Team news

• West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola could welcome back Radoslav Kovac from the thigh injury he suffered while on international duty with the Czech Republic on 1 April. Kovac made the last of his five West Ham appearances in the 1-1 draw at Blackburn on 21 March.

• Scott Parker is sidelined with the groin injury that has ruled him out of West Ham's last three matches.

• Zola could also welcome back Jonathan Spector, who has trained this week after missing the away matches at Tottenham and Aston Villa. Spector suffered concussion in an accidental aerial challenge with Sunderland's Tal Ben Haim on 4 April. James Collins is a doubt with a calf injury suffered during the Villa game but it is not thought to be a long-term problem.

• Zola will be without midfielders Valon Behrami and Jack Collison. Both are making good progress after suffering knee injuries. Switzerland international Behrami is undergoing rehabilitation work at Chadwell Heath as he begins the road back from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

• Wales international Collison is now running fully after suffering a dislocated kneecap in the 1-0 victory at Wigan and should step up his training with the rest of the squad next week.

• Carlton Cole is making good progress in his recovery from the groin injury he suffered in England's 4-0 friendly victory over Slovakia at Wembley on 28 March. He has been running as part of his personal fitness programme.

• Wales defender Danny Gabbidon is continuing his recovery from back and stomach injuries by working with the club's medical staff at Chadwell Heath. Strikers Terry Dixon and Dean Ashton are also working hard on their respective rehabilitations after ankle and knee injuries respectively.

• Chelsea will be without Portugal full-back Jose Bosingwa, who has returned to training following a hamstring strain but is being rested ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final first-leg tie against Barcelona .

• Portugal playmaker Deco is also a major doubt with a hamstring problem.

• England midfielder Joe Cole is sidelined for the remainder of the season with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury suffered in the FA Cup third-round replay victory over Southend United, a game which also featured on-loan West Ham winger Junior Stanislas.

• Portugal defender Paulo Ferreira is sidelined for the remainder of the season with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury suffered in training in early March.

Last meeting

• The teams met at Stamford Bridge on Saturday 14 December 2008. West Ham left west London with a 1-1 draw. Craig Bellamy put the Hammers ahead on 33 minutes before Nicola Anelka equalised for the home side six minutes after half-time

• The lineups were:

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Ashley Cole, Mikel (Belletti 80), Deco, Ballack (Drogba 46), Lampard, Joe Cole (Kalou 74), Anelka
Subs not used: Hilario, Ivanovic, Bridge, Ferreira

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Upson, Davenport, Ilunga, Collison (Boa Morte 87), Parker, Noble (Mullins 72) Behrami, Bellamy (Di Michele 89), Cole
Subs not used Lastuvka, Faubert, Tristan, Sears

Attendance: 41,675

Old boys

• West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola made 312 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions, scoring 80 goals. Zola joined the Blues from Parma for £4.5m in November 1996 and remained at Stamford Bridge before joining Cagliari on a free transfer in June 2003. During his time at Chelsea, Zola won the FA Cup twice, in 1997 and 2000, the League Cup, the European Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Super Cup, all in 1998.

• West Ham first team coach Steve Clarke joined Chelsea from Scottish club St Mirren for a fee of £422,000 in January 1987, going on to make 421 league and cup appearances for the Blues. Clarke was the club's player of the year in 1994 and won the FA Cup, in 1997, and both the League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cups in 1998. He was also voted as the right-back in Chelsea's centenary side. Clarke left Stamford Bridge in September 1998 to join former Blues team-mate and manager Ruud Gullit as his assistant manager at Newcastle.

• Scott Parker joined Chelsea from Charlton Athletic for £10m in January 2004. The England midfielder made 28 league and cup appearances, scoring one goal for the Blues before joining Newcastle for £6.5m in June 2005.

• Carlton Cole began his career at Chelsea in August 2001, making 31 appearances and scoring eight goals in all competitions before moving to West Ham in July 2006.

• Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard began his career at West Ham, joining the club as a full-time trainee in 1994. Lampard went on to make 187 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers, scoring 39 goals. The England midfielder joined Chelsea for £11m in June 2001.

• West Ham Academy graduate Joe Cole made 150 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers between August 1998 and May 2003, scoring 13 goals. Cole, an England midfielder, joined Chelsea for a £6.6m fee in August 2003.

• England captain John Terry spent five years at the West Ham Academy before joining Chelsea at the age of 14.

• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are Clive Allen, Syd Bishop, Peter Brabrook, Billy Bridgeman, Billy Brown, Robert Bush, Dickie Deacon, Alan Dickens, Len Goulden, Jimmy Greaves, Ron Greenwood CBE, George Hilsdon, George Horn, Joseph Hughes, Sir Geoff Hurst, William Jackson, Glen Johnson, Joe Kirkup, Andy Malcolm, Harry Medhurst, Scott Minto, Eric Parsons, Joe Payne, Dave Sexton, John Sissons, Ron Tindall and Billy Williams.

Head to head

Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)

14 December 2008 - Chelsea 1-1 West Ham United
1 March 2008 - West Ham United 0-4 Chelsea
1 December 2007 - Chelsea 1-0 West Ham United
18 April 2007 - West Ham United 1-4 Chelsea
18 November 2006 - Chelsea 1-0 West Ham United
9 April 2006 - Chelsea 4-1 West Ham United 09-04-2006

Overall record v Chelsea (all competitions) W 36 D 17 L 37

Next up

• West Ham will travel to Stoke City for a Barclays Premier League fixture on Saturday 2 May, with kick-off at 3pm

• Chelsea head to Barcelona for a UEFA Champions League semi-final, first-leg tie on Tuesday 28 April, with kick-off at 7.45pm

Travel information

• The London Underground District line will be suspended between Barking and Upminster. Two rail replacement bus services will operate. Service A will run between Barking and Dagenham East, calling at Upney, Becontree and Dagenham Heathway. Service B will run between Barking and Upminster, calling at Dagenham East, Elm Park, Hornchurch and Upminster Bridge.

• The Hammersmith and City line will be suspended between Plaistow and Barking.

• The Jubilee line will be suspended between Stratford and Green Park. Two rail replacement bus services will operate. Service A will run between Canada Water and Bank, calling at Monument, London Bridge and Bermondsey. Service B will run between North Greenwich and Stratford, calling at Canning Town and West Ham.

• The Waterloo and City line will also be suspended.

• c2c services will be suspended between Fenchurch Street and Barking, with services being diverted to Liverpool Street. This means services will not call at West Ham or Limehouse, but will additionally call at Stratford. An amended timetable will be in operation all day. For full details visit

• On National Express East Anglia services, no trains will run between Romford and Upminster. Buses will also replace trains between Shenfield and Colchester.

General information

• Saturday's match is completely SOLD OUT

• Saturday's weather forecast is for heavy rain showers with a maximum daytime temperature of 17C.