Under pressure boss Manuel Pellegrini and his West Ham side visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Irons are looking for their first win since September 22 when they beat Manchester United 2-0 at home. Meanwhile Chelsea are looking for a win to heap more pressure and misery on our East London neighbours.
There are injury doubts surrounding Tammy Abraham, this after he had to be substituted in Valencia on Wednesday; first indications showed that the hip injury could have been serious, but Tammy himself said that it feels more like bruising than any breaks; however, Tammy will be out against West Ham.
As Tammy isn’t fit, then either Michy Batshuayi, or Oliver Giroud will take his place. Both Batshuayi and Giroud have different attributes to Tammy, but as we know, both can score goals. It has been rumoured that Giroud could be transferred in January, however, this will surely be dependent on our transfer ban being lifted by CAS.
Since that 2-0 victory over Manchester United back in September, the Irons have slipped to 17th in the Premier League. They have had recent defeats at Burnley (3-0) and last week they lost to Spurs (2-3). They also went out of the Carabao Cup with a 4-0 defeat away to Oxford United.
Pellegrini has said that he doesn’t discuss the future with the West Ham hierarchy, but fans of the East London team must be worried about a relegation dog fight, or should that be an Isle of Dogs fight.
The Hammers on loan keeper Roberto has come under recent criticism as his form has been decidedly shaky. If dropped his replacement will be David Martin as Lucas Fabianski is still injured.
Frank Lampard and fans of Chelsea always want to beat West Ham. Our home form has been a little inconsistent since the start of the season and defensively there has been one or two questions asked. However, Frank has full faith in his defenders. Injury wise Frank believes that Toni Rudiger will be back sooner rather than later.
Last season we beat West Ham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge with Eden Hazard getting both goals; the last time that West Ham came to Stamford Bridge and won was in September 2002, when Paolo Di Canio decided to celebrate in front of the Shed family section. These were the days when the away fans were housed in the bottom tier of the East Lower.
One of the more recent great games against West Ham came in 2006 when in the tenth minute we went 0-1 down, we then had Maniche sent off seven minutes later, but we eventually won 4-1 thanks to goals from Didier Drogba, Hernan Crespo, John Terry and William Gallas. We also beat them 4-1 in 2010 when Gianfranco Zola was manager of West Ham.
It is always difficult to know which West Ham will turn up at Stamford Bridge, they can either play like their lives depend on it, or fold like a pack of cards. I certainly hope that they fold like a pack of cards.
Their goals have been lacking severely so far this season; Sebastien Haller has scored four goals while next best scorer Andriy Yarmolenko has three.
West Ham will try to defend for their lives tomorrow, but quality will prevail, and we’ll win. I can’t make my mind up as to who should start, but I would like to see Olivier Giroud given a chance to try to batter their defence.
Whoever plays up top will get my vote and with luck, he will score a goal or two. I’m taking us to win 2-0.