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Chelsea v West Ham


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.

Key battles
'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.

Hazard Chelsea

'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.'

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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.

If selected, Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres will make their 50th appearance of the season for the Blues

Congratulations to Fernando Torres who celebrates his 29th birthday on Wednesday and Ramires his 26th on Sunday 24 March.


Major trophies
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
Played 84
Won 37
Drawn 22
Lost 25

West Ham's last 10 year league history
Pts Pos Division Level
2002/03 42 18th Premier League 1
2003/04 74 4th League Division One 2
2004/05 73 6th Championship 2
2005/06 55 9th Premier League 1
2006/07 41 15th Premier League 1
2007/08 49 10th Premier League 1
2008/09 51 9th Premier League 1
2009/10 35 17th Premier League 1
2010/11 33 20th Premier League 1
2011/12 86 3rd Championship 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)

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.

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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