It’s the second London derby for Chelsea in a week as they take the short trip to Upton Park to face West Ham United on Wednesday just three days after their Capital One Cup triumph over Tottenham Hotspur.
Buoyed by that first trophy of the season, the Blues will be keen to strengthen their grasp on the Premier League title after Manchester City slipped again away to Liverpool on Sunday.
They will be facing a West Ham side who aren’t in good form coming into this match after their winless streak extended to six matches with a 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Sam Allardyce has been duly credited with the Hammers’ overall improved performances this season but the pressure has mounted in recent weeks and he must turn things around pretty soon or he may face the sack.
Chelsea will be without the suspended Nemanja Matic for this fixture as he serves the last of his two-match ban, while John Obi Mikel is also likely to miss out. It would be interesting to see if Jose Mourinho sticks Kurt Zouma in midfield again, but it’s more likely Cahill drops to the bench to accommodate the 20-year-old while Oscar returns to the starting XI.
For the Hammers, Allardyce might shake things up a little after that disastrous performance in their last match against Crystal Palace which saw a team concede three goals from set pieces in a single game for the first time since Opta started recording statistics in 2006. Enner Valencia or Diafra Sakho may lead the line for West Ham if they decide to go 4-5-1 while Kevin Nolan is also eyeing a return to the lineup.
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