Chelsea match preview

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Chelsea
Boleyn Ground
Sunday 20 December
Referee: Mike Dean


• West Ham United return to home soil for the first time in three games looking to bounce back after defeats to Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City.

• The Hammers will be looking to continue their improving home form. In their last six matches in east London, the Hammers have won two and drawn two with the narrow defeat to Everton and the loss to Manchester United the only blotches on their Boleyn Ground copy book in that time.

• West Ham are 19th in the Premier League table with 14 points but a win could potentially move the club up to 15th in the table and within three points of 12th place. Chelsea are top of the pile with 40 points from their first 17 games.

• West Ham United have not beaten Chelsea home or away for seven years. The last victory was a 1-0 win in the 2002/03 season, when Paolo Di Canio scored the only goal of the game in the 71st minute.

• This is the 83rd league meeting between the two sides. West Ham have won 34, Chelsea have won 32 and there have been 16 draws.

Last time out

Tuesday 15 December
Barclays Premier League
Bolton Wanderers 3-1 West Ham United
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Gabbidon, Ilunga (Nouble 82), Kovac (Dyer 67), Parker, Noble, Diamanti, Stanislas (Collison 68), Franco
Subs not used: Kurucz, Spector, da Costa, Payne
Goal: Diamanti 69

Wednesday 16 December
Barclays Premier League
Chelsea 2-1 Portsmouth
Chelsea: Cech, Terry, Alex, Ashley Cole, Ivanovic, Deco (Joe Cole 59), Lampard, Mikel (Malouda 64), Ballack, Kalou (Borini 72), Anelka
Subs not used: Carvalho, Ferreira, Zhirkov, Hilario
Goals: Anelka 23, Lampard 79 (pen)

Last meeting

The two sides last met at the Boleyn Ground on 25 April this year when Salomon Kalou scored the game's only goal. Mark Noble also saw his 70th minute penalty saved by Petr Cech.

The teams that day were:

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Boa Morte (Savio 72), Dyer (Sears 61), Noble, Stanislas, Di Michele (Kovac, 61) Tristan
Subs: Lastuvka, Spector, Lopez, Payne,

Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa (A.Cole 83), Ivanovic, Terry, Mancienne (Ballack 83), Belletti, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou (Essien 73), Malouda, Anelka
Subs: Hilario, Stoch, Di Santo, Drogba
Goal: Kalou 55

Head to head
Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)
25 April 2009 - West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea
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

Overall record v Chelsea (all competitions) W 36 D 17 L 38

Next up

Saturday's game is the last before Christmas so both sides will next be in action in the traditional Boxing Day fixtures. West Ham United will play host to Portsmouth while Chelsea face a trip to Birmingham City.


• 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.

• Coincidently, this will be Dean's first West Ham United match since the equivalent game last season.

West Ham United

• 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.

• Hanging on to leads is crucial if the club are to pick up their second away win of the campaign. Three times they have failed to convert a two-goal lead into a win so far this season.

• The Hammers have lost six of their seven games when they have been level at half-time.

• At Christmas last season, West Ham were 17th. An impressive second-half run saw them climb the table to finish in ninth place.

• West Ham have scored 25 goals this season with ten different scorers registering. Carlton Cole leads the way (seven), with Guille Franco (three) and Alessandro Diamanti (three) next in line. Jack Collison (two), Matthew Upson (two), Junior Stanislas (two), Manuel da Costa, Mark Noble, Luis Jimenez and Zavon Hines have also registered.

• Cole is West Ham's top scorer this season with seven goals in 13 league games. The England striker has scored 14 goals in 25 Premier League games since Boxing Day 2008.

• Alessandro Diamanti has had more shots (41) and has created more goals (3) than anyone else at the club.

• Mark Noble's 17 crosses is the highest at the club.

• Matthew Upson has made more defensive clearances (16) and defensive blocks (10) are higher than anyone else.

• Only Robert Green has played in every league game for the club this season. He is on a run of 105 successive league appearances.

• Julien Faubert and Cole are each on four yellow cards this season.

• 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.


• Despite sitting at the top of the table, Chelsea's win against Portsmouth was their first in five games in all competitions following defeat to Manchester City and draws with Blackburn Rovers, Apoel Nicosia and Everton.

• Chelsea are yet to draw any of their away games this season. The Blues have won five and lost three.

• Didier Drogba is Chelsea's and the Premier League's top scorer with 13 goals. He has also had more shots off target than any other player (32) in the league.

• Drogba also has eight assits to his name

• Frank Lampard's four penalties is the joint most in the league this season.

• Petr Cech's eight clean sheets is the highest in the league.

• John Terry leads the way in defensive clearances for the Blues with 30 in total this season.

•  Ashley Cole will be 29 on Sunday.

• Chelsea have had more shots on target (187) and off target (144) than any other team.

• Chelsea's biggest ever win at the Boleyn Ground came two seasons ago, 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.

Team news

• Mark Noble is set to return after serving a one-match suspension against Birmingham City.

• Matthew Upson and Luis Jimenez have both trained fully this week and should also be in contention.

• Carlton Cole and Valon Behrami are both making good progress from knee injuries. The former is aiming for a January return while the latter could be involved on Boxing Day if all goes well over the coming days.

• Kieron Dyer is likely to be out for two to three weeks with a hamstring problem suffered in midweek at Bolton.

• Zavon Hines is definitely out with a knee problem but it is still too soon to know how long he will be sidelined.

• Luis Boa Morte (knee) and Calum Davenport (leg) remain long-term absentees.

• For Chelsea, Didier Drogba (back) and Daniel Sturridge (hip/thigh) are doubts. Drogba sat out in midweek in the hope of being fit for the weekend.

• Jose Bosingwa is out with a knee problem while Michael Essien will not play because of a hamstring injury.

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.

General information

• For ticket information, click here

• Sunday's weather forecast is for a chilly but bright day with a maximum daytime temperature of 3C.