Sun 17 Mar 2013 16:00 (Attendance: 41,639)
After three games in cup competitions it is back to league action with a London derby. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton weigh up the weekend fixture…
'Oh, East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet,' wrote Rudyard Kipling, and for 90 years this spicy London derby has been proving him wrong.
This latest meeting is the last club match before a two-week FIFA break. The majority of players will have no rest, though, with two international fixtures scheduled either side of next weekend.
While the Hammers, out of the FA Cup, have had a fortnight to work themselves up for this game, Chelsea have been involved in cup matches against Manchester United and Steaua Bucharest that have played with emotions of all involved.
Thursday night's Europa League success made it five wins in the last six at the Bridge and only Reading have lost more times away than the Irons - nine defeats in 14 trips.
Prior to their most recent action West Ham had lost five in a row away from home, but winning at Stoke, as the Blues can attest, is no mean feat.
Sam Allardyce's side currently lie in 12th place, four shy of the 37 points rival boss Harry Redknapp has calculated QPR need to attain to stay up. They have several winnable matches coming up at home, where they have accrued two-thirds of their total so far.
The European champions, two points behind third-placed Spurs with a game in hand and five ahead of Arsenal in fifth, must take all three points from this game to pursue the primary aim of a top four finish.
The victory over Steaua in midweek included Chelsea's 300th goal in UEFA matches (excluding the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a tournament outside the organisation's jurisdiction) scored by Juan Mata. It was his 18th strike this season and 30th overall.
John Terry's superb header was his third goal of the season; his last nine have all been scored at Stamford Bridge.
Fernando Torres also notched his first goal since Brentford in the FA Cup at the end of January. In doing so he became the first player ever to score in seven different tournaments during the same season.
That's a measure of the unique demands of this busiest of seasons. Torres's Europa League winner ensures the Blues remain on course to complete a remarkable 70-game campaign in 2012/13. The minimum we can now play is 65, which is a club record, surpassing the 64 in 2006/07.
Games played for club(s) and country this season since the start of the Olympics on 26 July
Oscar 61, Hazard 55, Mata 54, Ramires 53, Ivanovic 52, Torres 52, Cech 50, D Luiz 48, Cole 44, Cahill 42, Lampard 40, Moses 39, Mikel 38, Ba 36, Bertrand 35, Azpilicueta 34, Terry 20, Benayoun 15, Romeu 15, Marin 14, Turnbull 7, Ferreira 5.
Substitute appearances are included
Chelsea's hopes of success remain very much alive in the latter stages of two competitions. Given the transitional nature of the squad this season, that is some feat and few teams across Europe can claim the same.
We now know our opponents in the next round of the Europa League will be Rubin Kazan, with the second leg on 11 April. That will be just three days before the potentially decisive Premier League match at the Bridge against Tottenham (who are in Switzerland on the Thursday) or the FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City, should we send City's neighbours, Man United, packing on All Fools' Day.
Should the Blues overcome the Russians in the quarter-finals the draw for the Europa League semis will take place on Friday 12 April in Nyon.
The Bridge welcomes back former Blue Carlton Cole on Sunday with Joe Cole likely to be missing due to injury (and, yes, we know Jack Collison was a childhood regular at the Bridge and Dennis Wise his hero).
More pertinent for West Ham fans will be what some of them view as the 'inevitability' that their old boy, Frank Lampard, might reach his double century against them on Sunday.
Frank, of course, needs three more goals to equal Bobby Tambling's all-time record. Bobby made his debut at home to the Hammers on 7 February 1959, hitting the winner in a 3-2 victory.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Everton v Manchester City 12.45pm - Sky Sports
Aston Villa v QPR 3pm
Southampton v Liverpool 3pm
Stoke v West Brom 3pm
Swansea v Arsenal 3pm
Manchester United v Reading 5.30pm - ESPN
Sunderland v Norwich 1.30pm - Sky Sports
Tottenham v Fulham 3pm
Chelsea v West Ham 4pm
Wigan v Newcastle 4pm - Sky Sports
|Barclays Premier League table|
|Premier London League|
|The race for the Champions League - Games remaining|
|Chelsea (10)||Arsenal (10)||Tottenham (9)|
|West Ham (h)||Swansea (a)||Fulham (h)|
|Southampton (a)||Reading (h)||Swansea (a)|
|Sunderland (h)||West Brom (a)||Everton (h)|
|Tottenham (h)||Norwich (h)||Chelsea (a)|
|Liverpool (a)||Everton (h)||Man City (h)|
|Swansea (h)||Fulham (a)||Wigan (a)|
|Man Utd (a)||Man Utd (h)||Southampton (h)|
|Aston Villa (a)||QPR (a)||Stoke (a)|
|Everton (h)||Wigan (h)||Sunderland (h)|
|Fulham (a)||Newcastle (a)|
Click on tabs above for more briefing.
Former Blues winger Clive Walker played in four east-west London derbies, winning two and losing two. Here he assesses how Chelsea might make capital gains and three crucial league points.
'Thursday night ended on a high, much like the Man United cup game before it, and it would be nice for the players to go off to their internationals with another good result under their belts,' he says.
'West Ham will be another tough nut to crack. They will come and defend.
'It's always a big game with an edge to it. I'm sure the West Ham players are appreciative they have had extra rest time over us, but sometimes it works that you can have too long to think about a derby, you can dwell on things and get worried.
'Away from home and they have taken a few beatings - they were taken apart by Arsenal and lost 5-1 after opening the scoring. It's important we draw first blood. We need to have our most dangerous players in top gear very quickly on Sunday.
'West Ham's last match was a win at Stoke and it was a scrappy, long-ball affair. Sam Allardyce was obviously determined to make his side more mean and solid because he wants to edge towards that all-important Premier League survival. Even the Hammers fans would say the champagne football can wait for a while.
'We were the only team to have won at the Britannia before their 1-0 there, and any team has done a good job going to Stoke, keeping a clean sheet and winning as they did.
'Big Sam is likely to set them out the same way against us, as a 4-5-1 with Andy Carroll the big target man. He may be missing a few of his more creative players such as Joe Cole, Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan, so they might be even more no-nonsense and direct.
'Jack Collison knows where the goal is but he'll be trying to hit it to Andy Carroll at every opportunity.
'Chelsea will definitely have to work hard to deal with Carroll, who has been a thorn in our sides in the past. It's a matter of creating the right intensity, being patient and persistent and taking the game to them on the deck.
'They're not a typical Big Sam side in terms of defending solidly. The full-backs, Guy Demel and Joey O'Brien, can be a defensive weakness. If we pass and move, manipulate them out of position and exploit the gaps created - as we did at times against Steaua and Man U - they will find it difficult to keep us out.
'They do have a system they work rigidly to, but they have mistakes in them and on a bad day they could suffer.
'Demba Ba may well return because he's fresh and Fernando Torres played the full match and took a bit of a battering on Thursday. Ba's also a former Hammer and I'm sure he'll want to do well against his former club. Remember he scored the winner in our last home league game against West Brom too.
'We need to get our creative players on the ball and to get up and at their deep-lying midfielder Gary O'Neil (pictured below), but cope with the physical presence of Mohamed Diame when he surges forward too - something we didn't do when he came on as sub at the Boleyn Ground.
'Rafa might want some muscle in there to cope with Diame. Mikel is the perfect foil to stop him in his tracks and you can see Branislav Ivanovic coming in to the line-up for aerial strength and power.
'It could be a big day for Frank Lampard against his old club, needing one to reach 200 goals. I imagine he'll be on penalty duty if he's playing.'
Click on tabs above for more briefing.
WE HAVE HISTORY
This fixture was first played at Stamford Bridge 90 years ago in October 1923 - a 0-0 draw followed a week later by a 2-0 win for the Hammers at the Boleyn.
One of the most remarkable meetings was in April 1966, a few months before the World Cup. Alf Ramsey announced his squad of 40 the same weekend, soon to be whittled down to 22. There were six Chelsea players and three Irons.
The Hammers had beaten Spurs 4-1 the day before, a Friday night, and made seven changes, resting the likes of Geoff Hurst, Johnny Byrne and Ronnie Boyce. Tommy Docherty's side took full advantage, despite a similar workload.
Bobby Moore attempted to hold together his ragged troops and failed - even Ron Harris (pictured below) weighed in with his first goal of the season, followed a minute later by an own goal.
Chelsea had surged into a 3-0 lead inside 15 minutes through George Graham, a typically clever Terry Venables spot-kick and, inevitably, Bobby Tambling. Tambling and Graham added to the tally either side of half-time before Harris's double contribution with 10 minutes remaining. Peter Bennett hit another consolation for the Hammers in just before the whistle to make the final 6-2.
This weekend the Pensioners are looking to extend our unbeaten home run against West Ham to eight games in all competitions. We have won six of the last seven.
West Ham's last win at Stamford Bridge was in September 2002. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink opened the scoring with a penalty but goals from Defoe and Di Canio either side of the break put the visitors in the driving seat.
A sublime Zola free-kick brought the scores level but another Paolo Di Canio goal with seven minutes to go secured West Ham's first win of the season.
Our last 10 league meetings at Stamford Bridge
1999/00 - Drew 0-0
2000/01 - Chelsea won 4-2
2001/02 - Chelsea won 5-1
2002/03 - West Ham won 3-2
2005/06 - Chelsea won 4-1
2006/07 - Chelsea won 1-0
2007/08 - Chelsea won 1-0
2008/09 - Drew 1-1
2009/10 - Chelsea won 4-1
2010/09 - Chelsea won 3-0
The reverse fixture this season
1 December 2012 Barclays Premier League
West Ham……..….…3 Chelsea………..……1
C Cole 63 Mata 12
Chelsea v West Ham in all competitions
Games played 98
Chelsea wins 43
West Ham wins 37
Head to head in the League at Stamford Bridge
Games played 43
Chelsea wins 22
West Ham wins 12
Biggest league win at Stamford Bridge for each team
09/04/1966 - Chelsea 6-2 West Ham
29/03/1986 - Chelsea 0-4 West Ham
Chelsea played their 32nd game of the season: 77
West Ham played their 32nd game of the season: 13
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,856
Liverpool won the league: 8,351
Visit again tomorrow for Part Two of the Briefing.
Chelsea are hoping for a fourth successive Barclays Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge.
Of the 18 occasions Chelsea have opened the scoring in the Premier League, we have gone on to win 13 games and draw four. Only West Ham have defeated us.
Chelsea still have the Premier League's second best scoring and defensive records this term.
The Blues are eight points better off compared to the corresponding 28 fixtures last season.
We have gained 12 points from losing positions this term.
We have dropped 14 points from winning positions.
|Last six results|
|Feb 24||Manchester City (a)||L 0-2|
|Feb 27||Middlesbrough (FA Cup 5 a)||W 2-0|
|Mar 2||West Brom (h)||W 1-0|
|Mar 7||Steaua Bucharest (Europa League a)||L 0-1|
|Mar 10||Manchester United (FA Cup a)||D 2-2|
|Mar 28||Steaua Bucharest (Europa League h)||W 3-1|
Premier League scorers
Lampard 11 (4 pens), Mata 10, E Hazard 7 (1 pen), Torres 7 (1 pen), Ivanovic 4, Ramires 4, Ba 2, Cahill 2, Cole 1, D Luiz 1, Marin 1, Moses 1, Oscar 1 (pen), Sturridge 1, Terry 1, own goals 2. Total 56
League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 3
A home defeat: 4
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Sun 31 Mar||Southampton away||4pm|
|Mon 1 Apr||Man United (FA Cup QF replay) home||12.30pm|
|Thu 4 April||Rubin Kazan (Europa League) home||8.05pm|
Frank Lampard needs one goal to reach 200 goals for Chelsea and three to equal our all-time top scorer Bobby Tambling.
WEST HAM STATS
3 FA Cups, last in 1980
1 European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965
1 FA Charity Shield in 1964 (shared with Liverpool)
Of the 14 games their opposition scored first, West Ham only came back to win one of them; against Chelsea at Upton Park
It's 27 matches since the Hammers last won consecutive Barclays Premier League games
No side has scored fewer away Premier League goals than West Ham's nine in 14 games this term
The Hammers have won 11 points from a possible 42 on the road this term. They have won at QPR, Newcastle and Stoke, drawn at Norwich and West Brom and lost at Swansea, Wigan, Tottenham, Man Utd, Reading, Sunderland, Arsenal, Fulham and Aston Villa.
They have only scored four goals in their last eight away games
Manager Sam Allardyce
Days in charge: 655
|West Ham's last 10 year league history|
|2003/04||74||4th||League Division One||2|
|Last six results|
|Jan 23||Arsenal (a)||L 1-5|
|Jan 30||Fulham (a)||L 1-3|
|Feb 2||Swansea (h)||W 1-0|
|Feb 10||Aston Villa (a)||L 1-2|
|Feb 25||Tottenham (h)||L 2-3|
|Mar 2||Stoke (a)||W 1-0|
2012/13 Premier League scorers
Nolan 6, Noble 4 (3 pens), Carroll 3 (1 pen), C Cole 2, J Cole 2, Collison 2, Diamé 2, Maiga 2, O'Brien 2, Jarvis 1, Reid 1, Taylor 1, Tomkins 1, Vaz Té 1, own goals 2. Total 32.
League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 6
An away defeat: 1
Hammers completed January transfers
Ins Marouane Chamakh (Arsenal, loan), Joe Cole (Liverpool, free), Sean Maguire (Waterford, undisclosed), Wellington Paulista (Cruzeiro, loan), Emanuel Pogatetz (Wolfsburg, loan)
Outs Alou Diarra (Rennes, loan)
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Michael Oliver is the official for his fourth Chelsea match this term. He was the referee in our 1-0 win against Stoke at Stamford Bridge in September, our defeat at West Brom in November and the draw at Stamford Bridge against Southampton in January.
There are no suspensions.
The Blues moved into third in the Premier League table with a comfortable 2-0 win against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge, our fourth home league victory in a row.
Frank Lampard gave us the lead with his 200th Chelsea goal in the 18th minute, expertly guiding a header from Eden Hazard's cross beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen, and quite how it remained 1-0 until the break was anybody's guess as Demba Ba, Juan Mata, Victor Moses and David Luiz all went close.
Four minutes after the restart, however, it was 2-0 thanks to a marvellous piece of individual skill from Hazard, as the Belgian linked up with Mata and drilled his strike past Jaaskelainen.
Mata, Hazard and Lampard all missed opportunities to put the seal on an impressive collective display late on, but we end a good week on a positive note, and now look forward to our away game at Southampton which follows the forthcoming international break.
Rafael Benitez made four changes to the side which beat Steaua Bucharest 3-1 on Thursday in the Europa League. Gary Cahill came into the back four to partner David Luiz at the expense of captain John Terry, while in midfield Lampard was given the nod - as well as the captain's armband - to face his former club. Moses was preferred wide on the right ahead of Oscar, playing alongside Mata and Hazard, both making their 50th appearances of the season, in behind former Hammer Demba Ba.
For West Ham, meanwhile, former Stamford Bridge favourite Joe Cole missed out through injury, while another former Blue, Carlton Cole, who scored in the corresponding fixture at Upton Park, started on the bench.
Both teams went into the game off the back of wins in their previous matches, and it was West Ham who were offered the first sight of goal when David Luiz fouled Andy Carroll on the edge of the box inside the opening two minutes.
Ricardo Vaz Te was the man who stepped up, but his strike was high and harmless, much to the relief of the home support.
The Blues should have been ahead after six minutes when the two former Hammers in our ranks linked up; Lampard released Ba with an absolutely exquisite pass, but as the striker opened his body up, and with only Jaaskelainen to beat, he dragged his shot wide.
It was a frantic opening, with both sides on the front foot, and the visitors were next to go close when James Collins powered a volley inches over the bar.
The link-up play between Mata and Hazard was causing West Ham problems early on, particularly down the right-hand side, and on more than one occasion it required last-ditch clearances to prevent Ba from capitalising on the duo's creativity.
Surprisingly, it was Moses who started wide on the left, with Hazard deployed on the other flank, but it certainly wasn't limiting their early influence.
The Chelsea pressure was beginning to build and after 18 minutes we took a deserved lead.
Hazard stung the palms of Jaaskelainen with a powerful drive, and as the rebound fell at the feet of the Belgian, he looked up and delivered a delightful cross on to the head of Lampard, who steered his effort over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Not only was the goal pivotal in the context of the match, but it was the midfielder's 200th for the club, and it will have surprised nobody inside Stamford Bridge that Lampard reached the milestone against his former employers.
The away side thought they had restored parity within a couple of minutes when Carroll brought a Matt Jarvis cross under control and prodded home, but the linesman's flag was already raised for a foul, and soon after we almost extended our lead when David Luiz's intelligent free-kick was tipped around the post by the busy Jaaskelainen.
The in-form Hazard, in particular, looked threatening every time he was in possession, and his ability to switch from right to left, as well as operate through the middle, was making him difficult to pick up.
Moses was unfortunate to see his low drive fizz wide after some excellent build-up play between Lampard, Mata and Cesar Azpilicueta as we looked to take a stranglehold of proceedings before the break, while a minute later it was Mata's turn to curl one narrowly wide.
West Ham were struggling to stay in the game as the Blues dominated, but on their rare forays into our half the warning signs remained, and it took a fantastic block by Ramires to deny Mohamed Diame.
As half-time approached, Ba went close twice in quick succession.
Unsurprisingly, given the manner of our first-half display, the Blues emerged for the second half with no changes to personnel, while Sam Allardyce opted to make one switch, replacing Diame with Matthew Taylor.
Four minutes into the second half our advantage was doubled, and it was a goal scored by a player in a rich vein of form.
Hazard, who moments earlier had embarked on a magnificent solo run to bring the Bridge to its feet, exchanged passes with Mata, before dropping his shoulder to evade two West Ham challenges and firing into the bottom corner.
It was the 21-year-old's 12th goal of the season in all competitions, and no more than his performance had merited.
Minutes later the game was almost put out of the visitors' reach when Mata raced clean through, only to be thwarted by the legs of the excellent Jaaskelainen, who West Ham had to thank for keeping them in the match.
As the visitors chased the game, they began to take a more direct approach, seeking out the aerial threat of Carroll virtually every time they attacked, and sensing the game was slipping away frustrations began to boil over, with both Winston Reid and Guy Demel earning themselves yellow cards.
Hazard was denied a second by a point-blank block as he pounced on a Mata cut-back as the Blues attempted to put the game to bed.
Having already replaced Moses with Oscar, Benitez made his second change of the afternoon 13 minutes from time, introducing Terry at the expense of David Luiz, who had produced a solid display alongside Cahill, while for the visitors Cole came on for Vaz Te.
Cole's impact was almost instant as he got across Cahill to meet Jarvis's cross from the left, but Petr Cech, a virtual spectator for much of the match, did well to save low down to his left, while at the other end Lampard passed up a glorious opportunity to double his tally, blasting over from Oscar's cross.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, David Luiz (Terry 77), Cole; Ramires, Lampard (c); Hazard, Mata (Mikel 85), Moses (Oscar 69); Ba.
Unused substitutes: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Bertrand, Torres.
Scorers Lampard 18, Hazard 49
West Ham United (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Demel, Collins (Tomkins 60), Reid (c), O'Brien; Vaz Te (C Cole 79), Collison, O'Neil, Diame (Taylor h/t), Jarvis; Carroll.
Unused substitutes: Spiegel, McCartney, Pogatetz, Chamakh.
Booked Reid 70, Demel 72
Referee Michael Oliver