Focused on Florent

Julien Faubert is looking forward to battling with old foe and fellow Frenchman Florent Malouda when West Ham United lock horns with Chelsea on Saturday.

The Hammers star could start at right-back against the Blues' in-form midfielder, who has scored four goals in four matches for his club already in 2010/11.

Malouda was also on target in France's 2-0 UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying win in Bosnia-Herzegovina - the same nation Faubert scored against on his own international debut in August 2006 - on Tuesday evening.

While many defenders would shy away from the challenge of facing one of the world's top players, the 27-year-old is relishing the opportunity of renewing the rivalry the pair enjoyed during their time in French Ligue 1.

The duo met six times during their respective times with Girondins de Bordeaux and Olympique Lyonnais - the most recent of which saw Faubert score first but finish on the losing side in a 2-1 Lyon victory four years ago.


"I know Malouda is on fire," Faubert told WHUTV. "He was a big player before and is a big player now, but I think we have to play as a team. If we play as a team and we are really compact, we won't let him play and will restrict his chances I think.

"I am not scared of anybody so I don't care who I am up against. I just try to play my best and do my best for the team. I know they are the hardest players in the Premier League, but every team has quality on their side and that's the modern football. They play a lot on the wings, so it will be difficult for me, but I will try to make it difficult for them as well. I will try my best."

Aside from old foe Malouda, Faubert is aware that the reigning Barclays Premier League champions possess quality all over the pitch.

Julien Faubert

Faubert was part of the team that had the better of a 1-1 draw with the Blues in the respective fixture last season and, despite starting as outsiders this time around, the Hammers star insists Avram Grant's side have the belief that they can upset the formbook again.

"I think this is why we are football players - to play in games like this. We have this game, then Stoke and Tottenham as well. They are also two big games. We don't have to be scared of this game because we play football for this. We can enjoy it but we have to die on the pitch. We have the fans behind us so we have to try our best."

"I don't think it's an easy game for us but we need some points, so if it's Chelsea or not Chelsea, we have to create something and we have to do something on the pitch. We are at home and we can do a big game against a team that won their first three games and scored a lot of goals. We have chances in every game if we believe.

"I think we can score. We have had opportunities to score but we have missed chances and it makes it hard. If we defend all the game it is hard as well, so we have to play, to be confident and try to score. If we can score, I think we can keep the lead.

"That's what we have to do. We have to believe before the game and not lose the game before we play. I think we have to believe, even though we know they are a big team."