Preview - Chelsea
West Ham United take on reigning Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea this Saturday as they look to protect a six-game unbeaten league run.
The Hammers have risen to fourth in the table after a run of four wins and two draws since they last tasted defeat.
That means they currently sit six points above Saturday’s visitors – a scenario that few would have predicted on the opening day of the campaign.
Chelsea’s difficulties at the start of the season have been well documented, and they arrive in E13 with the fourth leakiest defence in the division.
With three wins, two draws and four defeats from the first nine games, they have already tasted defeat on more occasions than last season, and currently sit in 12th position.
However, they did win last time out – 2-0 against Aston Villa, and followed that up with a 0-0 UEFA Champions League draw at Dynamo Kiev in midweek.
The Hammers and Chelsea have a long-standing rivalry, stretching over 103 games and 92 years.
Since that first Football League meeting – a 0-0 draw in October 1923, the Blues have held the advantage with 47 wins to the Hammers’ 37.
Much of that Chelsea dominance comes from the last decade, with Chelsea winning 15 times in the period the Hammers have registered just one victory.
That was a 3-1 success at the Boleyn Ground in 2012/13, when Carlton Cole, Mohamed Diame and Modibo Maiga were all on target.
Last term, Chelsea triumphed 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day, following that with a 1-0 victory at the Boleyn Ground a little over two months later.
West Ham United
Slaven Bilic will be without Victor Moses, who is ineligible to face his parent club, and Winston Reid, who is sidelined with a minor back injury.
This game comes around too quickly for Alex Song, but Enner Valencia, Angelo Ogbonna and Andy Carroll all returned for last week’s victory at Crystal Palace.
Pedro, Branislav Ivanovic and Loic Remy are all injured and will miss Saturday’s game at the Boleyn Ground.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho has a decision to make over whether to recall PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard to his team.
- Saturday’s referee is Jonathan Moss. The Yorkshire official has already taken charge of one Hammers game this term – the 4-3 defeat to AFC Bournemouth – and he will be assisted by Andy Halliday and Harry Lennard. The fourth official is Andy Woolmer.
- West Ham have won just one of their last 18 Premier League meetings with Chelsea (D3, L14).
- Their last victory came at Upton Park in December 2012, when they won 3-1.
- West Ham have made their best start to a Premier League season with 17 points after nine games.
- They are unbeaten in their last six league games, with four wins and two draws.
- Only Manchester City (24) have scored more goals than West Ham (20) in the Premier League this season.
- Chelsea have only won one of their last five away games in the league (D1, L3).
- The Blues have made their second worst start to a Premier League campaign with 11 points after nine games.
Ticketing, travel, coverage and other info
- Tickets for Saturday’s game have SOLD OUT.
- The theme for Saturday’s match is Greatest Moments – as voted for by you – and several Hammers legends will be returning to be presented to the crowd at half-time.
- A day of cloud, with light rain at times, is predicted for Saturday. Temperature at kick-off is set to be around 14C (57F)
- No closures are planned on the District and Hammersmith & City lines serving Upton Park. Click here for full information of TfL services. Click here for details on National Rail services.
- If you’re not heading to the game, make sure you stay tuned to our digital channels for all the very latest updates, pictures, stats and audio commentary. Get involved in the conversation on social using the hashtag #WHUCHE