The classic London derby is contested this week, the East taking on the West. Where the Kings Road will be the setting for a much-anticipated fixture. Needless to remind many Hammers, nor Blues that the last meeting ended with a triumphant win for West Ham United, but can West Ham break a major duck by picking up a win at Stamford Bridge, a place that in recent times has promised much, but delivered very little.
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The Bridge hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for West Ham United of late, with just one draw coming since our win in 2003, which incidentally was the last time we completed a league double over Chelsea. The last time we picked up a point at Stamford Bridge, Craig Bellamy scored the opening goal. The goal would turn out to be the Welshman’s last in a West Ham shirt. Our most recent visit to Stamford Bridge was a very strange day, as it was bright sunshine across London, but we had torrential storms in West London and Fernando Torres took this as a sign to open his scoring account for Chelsea.
We go to the game this weekend looking back on a very impressive win two weeks ago at Stoke, where Jack Collison’s finish from a classy through ball from Ricardo Vaz Te gave the side the lead. However, Chelsea last played on Thursday night where the needed to come back from behind to beat Steaua Bucharest. This you would hope from a West Ham perspective would give the Hammers the upper hand having not played for two weeks.
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Although West Ham could be considerably weakened by injuries as Kevin Nolan will be missing from action having injured his foot in the fixture with Tottenham Hotspur and Joe Cole will be missing after leaving the pitch early due to an injury against Stoke. Nevertheless, the potential return of James Tomkins and Mark Noble will be a huge boost to West Ham United’s chances of winning the game. Chelsea, on the other hand, has almost a fully fit and strengthened side to take on West Ham United.
The player on Chelsea’s side who could potentially hurt West Ham United this weekend is Demba Ba. West Ham know too well about the talents of this man, having brought the Senegal forward to British football in 2011. Ba was brought in by Avram Grant to try and save a crumbling season that was only going in one direction. Even though Ba scored 7 goals, they weren’t enough to save us from relegation and he left the club that summer to Newcastle. 18 months on and he has joined Chelsea, and he is the type of player that no opposition wants to face. Another player who has the potential on the Chelsea side is Juan Mata, the Spaniard is in unbelievably good form and has the potential to cause our somewhat fragile away defence problems.
West Ham will be going to the Bridge with a goal to do a double over Chelsea, and if we can do that for the first time in ten years, it’ll cap a brilliant season against Chelsea, and add to the impressive record we already have over Rafael Benitez.
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