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Jose Mourinho and Chelsea will return to Premier League action following their League Cup success over the weekend. Chelsea outplayed Spurs in a 2-0 win to lift their first silverware with a realistic chance of completing the treble this season.
Jose Mourinho will be aware that his side will not be involved in FA cup weekend so he will go with his strongest side available to him and would not hand Manchester City any chance of cutting their lead at the top.
Mourinho still awaits Nemanja Matic to come back from his suspension. This will be his last of the two game bans he received for a harsh reaction against Burnley. John Obi Mikel is still nursing his knee injury, which leaves Mourinho no option but to deploy the league cup winning midfield combination of Cesc Fabregas and Ramires.
Juan Cuadrado, Oscar and Eden Hazard will support Diego Costa as the lone striker while in defence Filippe Luis could come in for Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill could start ahead of Kurt Zouma.
Chelsea’s predicted line-up to face West Ham
Meanwhile, all is not well for Sam Allardyce and West Ham. The Hammers are going through a defensive meltdown which saw them concede set piece goals against Crystal Palce’s Glenn Murray.
One of the other reasons have been West Ham fans’ unfair assessment of the job Allardyce has done at Upton Park. West Ham are enjoying one of the finest seasons in their history and yet fans are not fully convinced. This has created a certain degree of uncertainty around the club. A big defeat against Chelsea could spell end to Big Sam’s time as the West Ham manager.
Big Sam will be pleased to welcome James Collins back to his side after the Welshman picked up an injury against Liverpool and missed Hammer’s last game. Stewart Downing, Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia would ask questions of the Chelsea’s defence while Mark Noble and Alex Song would look to keep out Chelsea midfield running riot at Upton Park.
West Ham’s predicted line-up to face Chelsea
- West Ham have won just one of the last 17 league meetings (D3, L13).
- Chelsea have kept clean sheets in five of their last six Premier League matches against West Ham, including the last four in a row.
- The Hammers failed to register a shot on target in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day.
- West Ham have only won once in 10 league games since Christmas, falling from fourth to ninth (D5, L4).
- Despite this slump in form, the Hammers are still eight points better off than they were last season.
- The Hammers have scored 15 headed goals in this season’s Premier League, more than any other team.
- This is the third of four straight London derbies for the Hammers; they have drawn with Tottenham and lost to Crystal Palace in the previous two.
- Chelsea’s only defeat in their last 11 Premier League games was by 5-3 against Tottenham.
- Jose Mourinho has never lost in seven Premier League matches against West Ham, winning six and drawing the other.
- The Blues have scored in their last 13 league games, the longest current run in the top flight.
- Chelsea defenders have contributed 17 goals and 13 assists this season in all competitions.
- Branislav Ivanovic has scored four goals in his last seven appearances for the Blues.
Chelsea are on a roll at the moment and they would look to carry their League Cup confidence and keep the momentum going in the league. It’s hard to see any team stop them at the moment. I see Chelsea winning this one comfortably with a 2 or 3 goals margin.
Stats Credits: Opta
Image Credits: lineupbuilder