Competition: Premier League – West Ham United vs Chelsea
Venue: Upton Park – Wednesday, March 4 – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET)
Match Odds: West Ham: 9/2 – Draw: 14/5 – Chelsea: 8/13
Chelsea come into the game in fine spirits after Sunday’s 2-0 Capital One Cup Final win against Tottenham to lift their first trophy of the season at Wembley.
They will need to forget about Sunday’s success quickly though and Jose Mourinho will hope his side face no kind of hangover in what is sure to be a tricky game at Upton Park.
West Ham’s Premier League home record: Played 14 – Won 7 – Drawn 3 – Lost 4
West Ham started the season so well but their form has been very poor of late and they are now without a win in five. Sam Allardyce has only seen his side win one of their last ten in the league and the manager is under pressure again after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace.
Chelsea beat West Ham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day and have only lost one of their eight league games since then.
The Blues are five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League and have a game in hand over their title challengers. Mourinho knows a win on Wednesday night would put them in a great position.
Chelsea’s Premier League away record: Played 13 – Won 7 – Drawn 4 – Lost 2
West Ham have only won one of their last 18 games against Chelsea in all competitions and a victory in this one looks unlikely for the unhappy Hammers.
West Ham have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game but will still be without Andy Carroll (knee), Carlton Cole (hamstring) and Morgan Amalfitano (suspension). Nene came off the bench to make his debut in Saturday’s loss to Crystal Palace but didn’t do enough to deserve a starting place in the side. Though Allardyce might bring the Brazilian into the lineup as he could look to mix things up.
Chelsea will still be without defensive midfielders John Obi Mikel (knee) and Nemanja Matic (suspension) and Mourinho could start Kurt Zouma in midfield once again as the youngster did well there in Sunday’s League Cup final. Cesar Azpilicueta suffered a blow to the head on Sunday and so Filipe Luis will be pushing for a start at left-back. Oscar was rested on Sunday and could return to the side. Thibaut Courtois will expect to claim his place in goal back after Petr Cech started against Spurs.
West Ham’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/D/D/L
Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/W/W/D
Key Stat: West Ham have not scored against Chelsea in their last four league meetings. The last time they found the net against their rivals was in December 2012 when they won 3-1 at home.
Key Player: Diego Costa – The Chelsea striker scored his first goal away from the Premier League in Sunday’s cup final and looks like he’s back to his best. He scored against West Ham in the reverse fixture and will look to add to his 17 league goals this season on Wednesday.
West Ham 0-2 Chelsea – The Blues will be too strong for a West Ham side that just can’t seem to win at the moment. The League Cup final may affect them a bit but they should stroll to a comfortable victory to pile the pressure on Sam Allardyce.