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Kilgallon (47, OG)
Ivanovic (55)
Azpilicueta (45, OG)
Barclays Premier League

Stamford Bridge

Sun 07 Apr 2013 15:00 (Attendance: 41,500)


It's a third home game in a row covering three competitions. There is no squad rotation for club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton as they provide another of their regular match previews…

Can a new manager who has promised strict rules, discipline and work hard whip his new Sunderland players into shape straight away, or will there be a dead (Black) Cat bounce in response to Paolo Di Canio's appointment?

In any case, after the defeat last Saturday (was it really only a week ago?) Chelsea need to up our game against teams from the Premier League's lower reaches.

The loss at Southampton means the Blues have taken just eight points from the 18 available against the sides promoted last May. The Londoners have also lost four times to teams from the bottom half of the table - the same figure as Sunderland, Wigan and West Ham.

Chelsea have won 15 of the last 16 matches against Sunderland.

We have a fine home record against the Mackems, other than the shock drubbings in 2001 and 2010, averaging more than 3.5 per match at the Bridge since 1997.

Sunderland's newly installed coach won four and lost six of his 12 games as a player against the Pensioners. The last occasion Di Canio visited the Stadium of Light as a West Ham player was in October 2002. He won 1-0 with teammates consisting of Joe Cole, Scott Minto, Ian Pearce plus Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick.

Fernando Torres's brace in the 3-1 victory over Rubin Kazan means he now has six goals in Europe this season, 18 over seven competitions. Perhaps, with the black mask and rapier-like dispatches reminiscent of a certain Mexican outlaw, we should be calling him Zorres.

Torres Chelsea

Quietly, the 29-year-old Spaniard is out-scoring Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Agüero, Edin Dzeko, Defoe, Christian Benteke, Theo Walcott and Rickie Lambert.

Thursday's team treble against Rubin nudged our goals tally for the current season up to 121 goals, alongside that of 1964/65, our second highest ever.

Most goals in a season
142 in 2009/10
121 in 1964/65 and 2012/13
117 in 1960/61 and 2006/07
112 in 2011/12
110 in 2008/09

There is no more prolific goal-maker in the Premier League than Eden Hazard and Juan Mata, who have so far managed 13 assists apiece.

Which team do you think will miss out on a top-four finish come May? #CFCPMB


A sad note for Chelsea fans: Harry Johnson, producer of the reggae tune our players run out to at Stamford Bridge, 'The Liquidator,' died on Wednesday in Jamaica aged 67.

The race for the Champions League - Games remaining
Chelsea (8) Arsenal (8) Tottenham (7)
Sunderland (h) West Brom (a) Everton (h)
Tottenham (h) tba  Norwich (h) Chelsea (a) tba
Fulham (a) Everton (h) Man City (h)
Liverpool (a) Fulham (a) Wigan (a)
Swansea (h) Man Utd (h) Southampton (h)
Man Utd (a) QPR (a) Stoke (a)
Aston Villa (a) Wigan (h) Sunderland (h)
Everton (h) Newcastle (a)


Our rivals for places two to four in the table face matches of varying difficulty over the next few days. Arsenal are unbeaten at the Hawthorns since 2005, when their former player Kanu was a scorer in a 2-1 Baggies win. The Blues' on-loan Romelu Lukaku has netted three in his two most recent home league games for West Brom.

Everton have won three of their last four encounters with Spurs, whose attacking pace has been clipped by injury blows to Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale on Thursday, on top of the already sidelined Defoe.

Man City travel to Old Trafford on Monday evening. Last season their visit heralded a shift in power in Manchester as they won 6-1 and pulled five points clear at the top, but just 18 months later they lie 15 adrift of their arch-rivals.

Barclays Premier League fixtures
Reading v Southampton 12.45pm Sky Sports
Norwich v Swansea 3pm
Stoke v Aston Villa 3pm
West Brom v Arsenal 3pm
Liverpool v West Ham 1.30pm
Tottenham v Everton 2.05pm ESPN
Chelsea v Sunderland 3pm
Newcastle v Fulham 3pm
QPR v Wigan 4.10pm Sky Sports
Manchester United v Manchester City 8pm Sky Sports

Barclays Premier League table
Top Pld Gd Pts
1 Man Utd 30 +39 77
2 Man City 30 +29 62
3 Tottenham 31 +15 57
4 Chelsea 30 +27 55
5 Arsenal 30 +26 53
6 Everton 30 +12 51
15 Newcastle 31 -15 33
16 Sunderland 31 -10 31
17 Wigan 30 -20 30
18 Aston Villa 31 -26 30
19 QPR 31 -23 23
20 Reading 31 -25 23

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A former star for both clubs, Clive Walker assesses the strengths and weaknesses ahead of the crucial battle for points between Chelsea and Sunderland.

Key battles
'We're a few weeks too early for the 'players already on the beach' scenario, so every game is still very competitive. Lots of teams could fall into the morass of the relegation fight and some are already mired in it, which makes this match such a big one for both sides.

'Sunderland were a struggling side under Martin O'Neill but it was late in the season to bring in a new manager. From our perspective nothing changes - Chelsea cannot afford to drop any more points if we want to finish in the top four.

'From Sunderland's point of view, a new manager is generally suggestive that the players will play harder and better as they'll want to impress the new boss.

'I wonder if that is as prevalent as it used to be, with squad rotation involving more players match-to-match. It's a squad game these days and players are not so used to playing every week with regularity.

'I think there will be changes in the way the Sunderland team plays under Paolo Di Canio - eventually. The Italian wants his teams to pass the ball, be comfortable in possession and calm under pressure.

'He has no Premier League management experience of course, and the question is do his players have enough quality to sustain those qualities against a Chelsea side hungry for points and at home.

'Chelsea must be aware of those possible teething problems with the new approach and close them down sharply, press them into mistakes, especially if Sunderland overplay. Obviously Di Canio will be aware this is a baptism of fire and may not be expecting much from this weekend.

'His priority is clearly to keep them up and he will be looking at their fixtures list and looking for the match that might spark a revival: this one, Newcastle away next weekend, then Everton at home. And with depleted personnel to select from, too.

'The news Di Canio wouldn't have wanted straight away is that Steven Fletcher and Lee Cattermole will miss the whole of this crucial run-in. That's their top scorer and their captain.

'Any team fighting relegation needs to find goals and people doubted Fletcher would be a success after this switch from Wolves. He came in and done a great job for Sunderland. He's also the type of guy you think there's maybe even more to come from - Di Canio might have been able to draw that out of him.

'Cattermole was their midfield leader even if he can be a bit of loose cannon. I imagine he's the type of scrapper the new manager would like in his side. He has passion, which is clearly one of Di Canio's attributes too.

'Both those two are a big miss for Sunderland who have the ultimate problem combination of not being able to score or keep clean sheets. Whoever the new coach plays, when a squad is lacking confidence and can't hit the net it can be very tough.

'It's up to us to take the game to them and both sides have so much to play for. We've not dispensed lower placed sides with the ease we should this season and cannot afford to make the same mistakes we made against Southampton.

'John Mikel Obi may return in the centre and Eden Hazard and Oscar look likely to come in, with Victor Moses and Yossi Benayoun dropping out. When we start with the three amigos we always look more likely to fire on all cylinders.

'Defensively Branislav Ivanovic may be brought in for César Azpilicueta or John Terry who both played on Thursday His physical presence can be useful against Sunderland.

'David Luíz and JT were excellent against Rubin and the Brazilian was very disciplined and Ryan Bertrand at left-back was terrific on Thursday. He has played over 30 games this season, which is a vindication of the squad and the youth system at the club.

Bertrand Chelsea

'One interesting area is upfront. Fernando Torres had to play in the Europa League because of Demba Ba being cup-tied. But Torres having such a great game - not just the goals he scored - gives the manager a dilemma.

'If Torres at that level, he's pushing to start every game. In Ba's favour he will be more rested and ready for the game on Sunday, and he's scoring too. That's the kind of selection dilemma every manager wants at this stage of the season.'


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This match was first played in February 1908 - a 2-1 win with both Chelsea goals coming from Fred Rouse. A little over 16 years ago the Mackems, managed by Peter Reid, arrived at Stamford Bridge to face a Chelsea side (like today's) that had recently qualified for the FA Cup semi-finals.

Sunderland had not won at Stamford Bridge in 40 years and before half-time any hope among the travelling supporters of that sequence ending might have been dashed.

Each side had had a sight of goal when Dennis Wise, magisterial in central midfield, started a move that culminated in Dan Petrescu's pull-back and Gianfranco Zola's goal.

The Italian stylist soon provided a second when his outswinger eluded the visitors' defence and Frank Sinclair headed past Lionel Perez. The two-goal half-time advantage became three early in the second period through Petrescu's alert pounce.

Out of the blue Sunderland revived strongly. Michael Bridges' centre was flicked on and sub Paul Stewart beat Frode Grodas to the ball. Minutes later Alex Rae inspired further hope for the Mackems, stabbing in from close range during a melée.

It was more than 15 minutes before Mark Hughes (pictured below) rampaged into the box and slotted past Perez to increase the advantage. Gianluca Vialli came on for Zola and set up the Blues' fifth for Hughes, before Roberto Di Matteo capitalised on Sunderland's desperation to claw something from the game by breaking away and making it 6-2 to Ruud Gullit's men.

Hughes 97

Chelsea have won 15 of our last 16 meetings over the last 11 years. Sunderland's only win was in November 2010 when three goals from Nedum Onuoha, Asamoah Gyan and Danny Welbeck without reply secured the three points at Stamford Bridge.

The 3-0 win by Sunderland in 2010 ended a run of 11 successive Chelsea wins and is only the Mackems second victory in the league at Stamford Bridge in 56 years.

The other occasion was in March 2001 when Sunderland beat Chelsea 4-2 despite the Blues taking the lead twice through Marcel Desailly and Eidur Gudjohnsen. Don Hutchison with two, Gavin McCann and Kevin Phillips scored for the visitors.

The Blues have scored 36 goals in our 11 Premier League meetings at Stamford Bridge.

Our last 10 league meetings at Stamford Bridge
1999/00 - Chelsea won 4-0
2000/01 - Sunderland won 4-2
2001/02 - Chelsea won 4-0
2002/03 - Chelsea won 3-0
2005/06 - Chelsea won 2-0
2007/08 - Chelsea won 2-0
2008/09 - Chelsea won 5-0
2009/10 - Chelsea won 7-2
2010/11 - Sunderland won 3-0
2011/12 - Chelsea won 1-0




The reverse fixture this season
8 December 2012 Premier League
Sunderland……..….…1 Chelsea…….……..……3
Johnson 65                      Torres 11, 45+2 pen
                                            Mata 48
             Att: 39,273

Sunderland v Chelsea in all competitions
Games played115
Chelsea wins55
Sunderland wins39

Head to head in the League at Stamford Bridge
Games played 55
Chelsea wins 36
Sunderland wins 8
Draws 11

Biggest league win at Stamford Bridge for each team
Chelsea 7-2 Sunderland - 16/01/2010
Chelsea 1-4 Sunderland - 12/03/1910

Visit again tomorrow for part two of the Briefing.

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Chelsea are hoping for a fifth successive Barclays Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge.

In the last 50 home games played by Chelsea in the Premier League, we have kicked towards the Shed End in the first half on 46 occasions.

The Blues have opened the scoring in 19 Premier League matches which is a higher percentage than any other club. We have gone on to win 14 games and draw four. Only West Ham have defeated us.

The Blues are five points better off compared to the corresponding 30 fixtures last season.

We have gained 12 points from losing positions this term.

We have dropped 14 points from winning positions.

Last six results
Mar 10 Manchester United (FA Cup a) D 2-2
Mar 14 Steaua Bucharest (Europa League h) W 3-1
Mar 17 West Ham (h) W 2-0
Mar 30 Southampton (a) L 1-2
Apr 1 Manchester United (FA Cup h) W 1-0
Apr 4 Rubin Kazan (Europa League a) W 3-1

Premier League scorers
Lampard 12 (4 pens), Mata 10, E Hazard 8 (1 pen), Torres 7 (1 pen), Ivanovic 4, Ramires 4, Ba 2, Cahill 2, Terry 2, Cole 1, D Luiz 1, Marin 1, Moses 1, Oscar 1 (pen), Sturridge 1, own goals 2. Total 59

League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 4
A home defeat: 5


Chelsea's next three games
Thu 11 Apr Rubin Kazan (Europa League) away 5pm
Sun 14 Apr Manchester City (FA Cup) Wembley 4pm

Wed 17 Apr

Fulham away 8pm

Frank Lampard needs two goals to equal our all-time top scorer Bobby Tambling on 202.

If selected, Petr Cech will play his 420th game for Chelsea and equal Kerry Dixon as our eighth all-time appearance maker.

If selected, Ryan Bertrand will make his 50th appearance for the Blues

Formed 1879

Major trophies
6 League championships, last in 1936
2 FA Cups, last in 1973
1 FA Charity Shield in 1936

Sunderland's last major piece of silverware was the FA Cup in 1973 when Ian Porterfield scored the winner for the Second Division side against Leeds.

Of the 15 games their opposition scored first, Sunderland only came back to win one of them.

The Black Cats have won three points for the last 24 available.

They have gained six points from losing positions. Only Fulham with four have fared worse.

Sunderland have won 13 points from a possible 45 on the road this term. They have won at Fulham, Southampton and Wigan, drawn at Arsenal, Swansea, West Ham and Stoke and lost at Manchester City, Everton, Norwich, Manchester United, Liverpool, Reading, West Brom and QPR.

Martin O'Neill lost his job after the defeat against Manchester United last weekend. His record was:

Played 66
Won 21
Drawn 20
Lost 25

Sunderland's last 10 year league history
Pts Pos Division Level
2002/03 19 20th Premier League 1
2003/04 79 3rd Championship 2
2004/05 94 1st Championship 2
2005/06 15 20th Premier League 1
2006/07 88 1st Championship 2
2007/08 39 15th Premier League 1
2008/09 36 16th Premier League 1
2009/10 44 13th Premier League 1
2010/11 47 10th Premier League 1
2011/12 45 13th Premier League 1




Last six results
Feb 9 Arsenal (h) L 0-1
Feb 23 West Brom (a) L 1-2
Mar 2 Fulham (h) D 2-2
Mar 9 QPR (a) L 1-3
Mar 17 Norwich (h) D 1-1
Mar 30 Manchester United (h) L 0-1

2012/13 Premier League scorers
Fletcher 11, Gardner 6 (4 pens), Sessègnon 5, Johnson 4, McLean 2, Campbell 1, Cuéllar 1, Larsson 1, O'Shea 1, Ba own goal 1. Total 33.

League games since
An away win: 3
An away draw: 10
An away defeat: 0

Sunderland's completed January transfers
Danny Graham (Swansea, £5m), Kader Mangane (Al Hilal, loan), Alfred N'Diaye (Bursaspor, undisclosed)
Outs Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff, £650,000), Ji Dong-Won (Augsburg, loan), David Meyler (Hull, £1.5m), Louis Saha (Lazio, free), James McFadden (Motherwell, undisclosed), Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull, loan)

Neil Swarbrick is refereeing Chelsea for the first time in the Premier League. His two previous Blues appointments were against Brentford in the FA Cup and our Captial One Cup match with Wolves this season, both at Stamford Bridge

There are no suspensions.

David Luiz is one booking away from a two-match domestic ban for reaching 10 yellow cards before the second Sunday of April. Ramires has eight bookings.

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Chelsea v Sunderland


  • 1
    Petr Cech
  • 28
    Cesar Azpilicueta
  • 2
    Branislav Ivanovic
  • 4
    David Luiz
  • 34
    Ryan Bertrand
  • 7
    Nascimento Ramires
  • 12
    John Mikel
  • 11
    Emboaba Oscar
  • 10
    Juan Mata Substitution
  • 17
    Eden Hazard Substitution
  • 29
    Demba Ba Substitution


  • 26
    John Terry
  • 8
    Frank Lampard Substitution
  • 21
    Marko Marin
  • 9
    Fernando Torres Substitution
  • 19
    Paulo Ferreira
  • 22
    Ross Turnbull
  • 30
    Yossi Benayoun Substitution
Shots on Target
Shots off Target
Most fouls
Yellow Cards
Red Cards


  • 22
    Simon Mignolet
  • 2
    Phil Bardsley
  • 12
    Matthew Kilgallon
  • 16
    John O'Shea
  • 3
    Danny Rose
  • 4
    Alfred N'Diaye
  • 8
    Substitution Craig Gardner
  • 7
    Substitution Sebastian Larsson
  • 28
    Stephane Sessegnon
  • 21
    Adam Johnson
  • 10
    Connor Wickham


  • 32
    Jordan Laidler
  • 14
    Substitution Jack Colback
  • 9
    Danny Graham
  • 20
    Keiren Westwood
  • 18
    Kader Mangane
  • 30
    Mikael Mandron
  • 23
    Substitution James McClean


Chelsea vs Sunderland Highlights

Video thumbnail Play
Chelsea 2 Sunderland 1
Match Highlights from Stamford Bridge
9:10 min


Chelsea move up to third in the Barclays Premier League after coming from behind to beat Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.

With a third game in six days, it was never likely to be a vintage performance from the Blues and so it proved, with few chances created by either side, Sunderland sitting deep and looking to counter.

It looked as though it might take something unusual to break the deadlock, and a minute before half-time Sunderland went in front when Cesar Azpilicueta turned John O' Shea's header into his own net.

The visitors' lead would last just two minutes however, as when Chelsea, and substitute Fernando Torres came out from the break, he set up Oscar, whose shot was saved but then deflected into the net by Sunderland defender Matt Kilgallon.

The winner eight minutes later was no less fortuitous, Branislav Ivanovic unknowingly turning home David Luiz's wayward shot from a corner.

What matters though is the three points accumulated to take us back above Spurs, who drew at home to Everton, and our third consecutive victory at the Bridge inside a week.

Team news
Rafael Benitez made five changes from the side which started against Rubin Kazan on Thursday. In came Ivanovic for John Terry at the back, John Mikel Obi for Frank Lampard in midfield, Eden Hazard and Oscar for Yossi Benayoun and Victor Moses behind the striker, and Demba Ba for Fernando Torres up front. Petr Cech was captain.

New Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio made three changes for his first game. Titus Bramble, James McClean and Danny Graham were out, Kilgallon, Sebastian Larsson and Connor Wickham in.

First half
Stephane Sessegnon, so often Sunderland's main hope of goals under Di Canio's predecessor Martin O' Neill, was first to find an opportunity, slamming his shot into the side netting three minutes in.

Chelsea's rotated side was taking a little time to settle in, but Ba almost found a way in after a link-up between Ramires and Mata, only for O' Shea to block.

Eighteen minutes in David Luiz was heavily involved at both ends, first seeing his free-kick blocked before Sunderland scrambled the ball away and broke, eventually working the ball to Adam Johnson inside the Chelsea area, where the Brazilian bravely blocked the England man's curling shot with his head, denying a probable goal for the visitors.

Chelsea v Sunderland

Ba required treatment after being clattered by Craig Gardner, who was booked, and in his absence a Ramires header brought a first save of the game from Black Cats goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet. It had taken 26 minutes, in which time Chelsea had boasted much of the possession and territory, but achieved little in the way of breaking the deep-lying visitors down.

Sunderland had, by the looks of it, come for a point and were reluctant to commit too many men forward on their rare breaks.

Hazard's bouncing header brought more action straightforward action for Mignolet, but there would be a twist in the tale before half-time.

A swift break allowed Wickham a shooting opportunity, but he saw his shot deflected behind by David Luiz. From the resultant corner, O' Shea rose highest to flick towards goal and in trying to clear Azpilicueta could only divert it into the top corner.

Chelsea v Sunderland

It was the worst way possible to end what in truth had been a pretty drab first period.

Second half
Not fully recovered from the Gardner tackle, Ba was replaced at the break by Torres, whose impact from the bench was immediate.

A minute after his introduction, the Spaniard picked the ball up on the left and with space to run into, drove hard at the Sunderland defence, squaring for unmarked Oscar inside the area. The midfielder's initial shot was well saved by Mignolet, but cannoned back towards goal and in off the legs of Kilgallon.

Chelsea v Sunderland

It had taken two bizarre goals to bring the game to life, and we did not have to wait long for a third. Fortunately it came Chelsea's way, as when the ball dropped loose at a corner, David Luiz's shot took a heavy ricochet off Ivanovic, and spun into Mignolet's bottom-left corner.

Mignolet had to push another deflected effort, this time from Mata, around the post on the hour, and then saw Oscar's powerful half-volley shake the side netting as the Blues sought a killer third goal.

Torres headed over after nice work from Mata and Oscar, while at the other end Johnson curled well wide having beaten Mikel with a sharp burst of pace.

As the game moved into its final quarter, so Chelsea lost a little of the control and momentum we previously had. Not that Sunderland were able to take advantage, with Wickham too often isolated in attack and the ball rarely sticking to his 6ft 4ins frame.

A late corner conceded by Mata provided them a rare opportunity but Cech punched effectively clear, meaning all there was left to do was survive five minutes of injury time before taking our place in the top three once more.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech (c); Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Bertrand; Ramires, Mikel; Oscar, Mata (Lampard 89), Hazard (Benayoun 84); Ba (Torres h-t).
Unused substitutes: Turnbull, Ferreira, Terry, Marin.
Goals Kilgallon own goal 46, Ivanovic 54

Sunderland (4-4-1-1):
Mignolet; Bardsley, O'Shea (c), Kilgallon, Rose; Johnson, Gardner (Colback 81), N'Diaye, Larsson (McClean 70); Sessègnon; Wickham.
Unused substitutes: Westwood, Mangane, Laidler, Mandron, Graham.
Goals Azpilicueta own goal 45
Gardner 25, Rose 62

Referee Neil Swarbrick

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The Chelsea FC matchday programme & official magazine are now both available to fans in multiple ways.

  • You can buy a digital version of either the programme or the magazine to download to your tablet and mobile devices.
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Digital Programme


Chelsea's official matchday programme will be available to download in digital format for Android and iOS tablets as well as Android mobile devices for the first time during the 2013/14 season. Our award-winning publication is released for every home game and is packed full of exclusive content, making it a must read for Blues fans of all ages.

Regular features in the programme for 2013/14 season include:

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Digital Magazine


Chelsea magazine, the official monthly publication of Chelsea Football Club, is now available to download digitally for Android and iOS tablets, as well as Android mobile devices. Packed full of exclusive features, it is a must read for any discerning Blues fan. You can buy the latest issue of the magazine now for just £2.99.

Regular features in the magazine for 2013/14 include:

  • Jose Mourinho answering a selection of fans' question in every issue
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Matchday Programme


Last week at Swansea we worked hard, created a lot of chances to score and eventually we got the goal we needed to leave a difficult place with three points...

SUNDERLAND - 19/4/14 - JT

We have got four games to go and four victories is a must for us to win the league...


We have another big derby game today...

ARSENAL - 22/3/14 - JT

What a great night Tuesday was...


Before we talk about Galatasaray and Didier's return, I want to say how gutted we were to lose three points at Villa on Saturday evening...


Tonight, we return to the Champions League and we, like Manchester United, find ourselves in a difficult position, where we are left to defend English football in Europe...


At the moment, we are top of the league with three points more than Manchester City - or the same points if they win their game in hand...

EVERTON - 22/2/14 - JT

We go into this game top of the league and, with our match being the early kick-off this weekend, a win here against Everton is vital...


Are you happy with our players' performance at Manchester City? If so, show them today!


Monday night was a brilliant performance and a great result for us...


Tonight we go into a difficult game against West Ham understanding the importance of ensuring we take three points from this London derby...

WEST HAM UNITED- 29/01/14 - JT

After a good win over Stoke in the FA Cup, we come back to the league today with a London derby and we are determined to keep our winning streak going now...


Today, we play against the champions. We don't play against a team that is 11 points away from the leaders, we play versus Manchester United...

MAN UNITED - 19/01/14 - JT

We are back at Stamford Bridge today after three away games on the spin, from which we've picked up three important wins...