The second home game in four days switches attention from cup to league. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton are ready for west meeting east in this London derby…
Chelsea are aiming tonight for an eighth successive win in all competitions following the victory against Stoke, which ensured progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup for a 15th time in 16 seasons.
The league campaign has come rushing back into focus, with a full programme over last night and tonight. Last night's Premier League results mean Arsenal, who again enjoyed a day more rest than the team with whom they drew, Southampton, are now within striking distance. A 2-0 win tonight would ease Chelsea ahead of the Gunners.
Only City have a better home record than Chelsea, who aim to overturn that situation at the Etihad in five days' time. Part of the Blues' improvement has been built on a run of six clean sheets in eight games - although, surprisingly, West Ham have managed one more than Chelsea's and City's eight overall so far this season.
The defensive reorganisation that followed problems at Stoke and Sunderland are working: according to Opta statistics, Chelsea have allowed only 68 opposition shots on target in the Premier League this term, fewer than any other team.
While the rest of Blighty hunker down against the cold and endless rain, West Ham appear to have secretly and unilaterally declared a winter break. In a few weeks it is reported they will jet off for a warm-weather training camp in Dubai for the third year in succession, maintaining that the production of solar-generated vitamin D aids endurance and injury prevention for the rest of the campaign.
In early 2012 the same Middle East heat treatment was followed by a run of one defeat in 17 matches for the Hammers. Last season it was more of a sun tan than a tonic: they won four, drew four, lost four and failed to score in four of their remaining 12 games. One was a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge (pictured below).
The former Blues Player of the Year holds the Premier League record for the biggest gap between appearances for the same club, having gone 3,534 days between matches for West Ham.
Of course, during that hiatus, much of which was spent here at the Bridge with the club he supported as a kid, he landed three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one League Cup and one Community Shield.
|Premier London League|
|Barclays Premier League table|
Just six points separate Swansea in 10th place from bottom club Cardiff.
Tonight, Tottenham seek revenge against a Man City team that breached their defence six times without reply at the Etihad back in November under AVB.
Barclays Premier League fixtures
Aston Villa v West Brom 7.45pm
Chelsea v West Ham 7.45pm
Sunderland v Stoke 7.45pm
Tottenham v Manchester City 7.45pm - BT Sport
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- Watch exclusive pre-match build-up and live commentary of the game against West Ham on Chelsea TV. Sky Digital customers can watch the pre-match show for free on channel 421.
Since we previewed the Stoke game, multiple-title-winning and all-round London gent Juan Mata has left the squad. Best of luck in the future to the man who memorably delivered the corners that set up Didier Drogba in Munich and Branislav Ivanovic in Amsterdam. Also to genuine Chelsea and Premier League legend in Michael Essien, who has switched to AC Milan.
Our latest Bridge recruit, 21-year-old left-footer Mohamed Salah, is not available for this match and his new manager has suggested he will be eased into the fray as was Willian, who arrived from the Russian Premier League. The manager has also said that despite good progress in his rehabilitation, Marco van Ginkel is some way off a return.
Lightning fast Egypt international Salah is well known to Blues fans - among his 10 goals and six assists for Basel this season are Champions League strikes that helped the Swiss beat us home and away. He was also on target at the Bridge in the 2013 Europa League semi-final.
Despite their recent results, no one should underestimate this relegation-haunted Hammers team, especially as their extensive injury list is clearing.
Sam Allardyce has also moved to bring in three players: former Birmingham and Wolves centre-back Roger Johnson (10 years a Chelsea season ticket-holder) has been joined by 15-cap Italy midfielder Antonio Nocerino on loan from AC Milan and 31-year-old Roma centre-forward Marco Borriello (pictured below), who won the Scudetto back-to-back on loan at Juve in 2012 and with Milan (pipping Samuel Eto'o's Inter) the year before.
Nocerino, 28, was a vital cog in central midfield for Juve and Palermo a few years ago but has been out of the Milan team much of the last two seasons because of form or injury. He crossed for Kevin-Prince Boateng's opener in their 4-0 Champions League victory over Arsenal in May 2012.
Out of favour at Italy's Olympic Stadium, Borriello, has managed just one goal this season and may need time to gain fitness. Leeds United's chairman also revealed his club had had turned down an offer to take prolific goalscorer Ross McCormack to the Boleyn.
The former Bolton boss needed to freshen things up. West Ham use the flanks and cross often, although the chief beneficiary of such service, Andy Carroll, is only just finding his match fitness following an extended spell on the sidelines. The striker, the Irons' £15m record signing, played in their 2-0 defeat at the Bridge last season but has been eased back into the fray by his manager since returning earlier this month.
They are themselves susceptible down the wings, especially to pace and trickery. Having given him a rest at the weekend, Mourinho may recall Willian to the starting line-up for that reason. As Fernando Torres remains sidelined, Samuel Eto'o is the most likely starter upfront.
As with most Sam Allardyce sides, the Hammers are happy to bypass midfield and play it long to put pressure on opposition defences. A consequence is that they like to try speculative shots outside the box from knockdowns and lay-offs. In the no.10 role, Ravel Morrison may not have consistency but he clearly has skill and an eye for goal. Chelsea's deep-lying midfielders will have to be alert to that threat. Mourinho also has a call to make on whether to recall Cesar Azpilicueta at full-back.
Big Sam will be concerned should his side persist in their habit of conceding fouls in dangerous areas. Leaving aside the ability shown by Oscar against Stoke just outside the box, they are poor at defending set-plays fired into the goal area.
A notable feature of Stoke's game on Sunday was apparently to take it in turns to have a nibble at the most-fouled player in the league, Eden Hazard. Two of the three yellow cards shown by Chris Foy were for offences against the Belgian player.Only Sunderland's players have been shown more than the Hammers' four red cards this season - two of them for captain Kevin Nolan.
For a defensive midfielder Alou Diarra can be sloppy in possession.Mohamed Diame has more recently played in a wide role.
In central defence, while Johnson and James Tomkins are still settling into each other's ways, Allardyce will be most keen to see Winston Reid back. Without him their defending has been loose at times, with Negredo and Aguero like knives through butter in the Capital One Cup. Attacking midfielder Matt Taylor will no doubt be happy to be relieved from temporary right-back duties.
Elsewhere it's a warm welcome back to the Coles, our old boys Joe and Carlton. Joe and teammate Diame went off injured during the Capital One Cup 9-0 aggregate semi-final loss to Manchester City. Joe was yesterday said to be Allardyce's only injury doubt. That could also mean the return of the injured trio of forward Ricardo Vaz Te and defenders Guy Demel and Joey O'Brien.
WE HAVE HISTORY
Chelsea are looking to extend our unbeaten home run against West Ham to nine games in all competitions. We have won seven of the last eight.
One of the most memorable came just under eight years ago at the Bridge, when Jose Mourinho's Blues were progressing inexorably to a back-to-back title win. The team were not progressing as swiftly as expected, though: a 0-0 draw at Birmingham City the week before had made it impossible for Chelsea to secure the championship on 9 April against the Hammers, as he had predicted weeks before.
When Chris Foy showed red to on-loan midfielder Maniche just 17 minutes into the match, with the visitors already ahead through a James Collins header, muffled alarm bells were ringing.
Not that Mourinho heard them. He simply adjusted his unfamiliar 4-4-2 to a more front-loaded formation and went for it. Fifteen minutes later Alan Pardew and co. did not know what had hit them.
First a brilliant through-ball set Didier Drogba racing towards goal. His initial shot was saved by Shaka Hislop but he levelled with the rebound. Two minutes later the Ivorian fired in a cross-shot that was met by his Argentinean co-striker to put the Blues ahead a quarter of an hour before the break.
Stamford Bridge was buzzing as the second half started and Chelsea maintained the momentum. Michael Essien feinted and found his way into the box to lay back for William Gallas. The full-back's powerful strike hit the bar and fell kindly for John Terry to make it three.
Wave after wave of Chelsea attacks made light of the numerical disadvantage and Mourinho's first substitute made clear there would be no let-up, Arjen Robben replacing Crespo.
The brilliant winger immediately bamboozled full-back Paul Konchesky, who fouled him on the edge of the box. Robben's set-piece was not cleared and Gallas swept in from close range (pictured below) to complete a 4-1 scoreline that had been unforeseeable 52 minutes earlier.
West Ham's most recent win at Stamford Bridge was in September 2002. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink opened the scoring with a penalty but goals from Jermain Defoe and Paolo Di Canio either side of the break put the visitors in the driving seat. A sublime Gianfranco Zola free-kick brought the scores level but another 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
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
2010/11 - Chelsea won 3-0
2012/13 - Chelsea won 2-0
The reverse fixture this season
23 November 2013 Barclays Premier League
West Ham……..….…0 Chelsea………..……3
Lampard 21 pen, 81
Chelsea v West Ham in all competitions
Games played 100
Chelsea wins 45
West Ham wins 37
Head to head in the League at Stamford Bridge
Games played 44
Chelsea wins 23
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 failed to win at Stamford Bridge: 81
West Ham avoided defeat at Stamford Bridge: 1,872
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,175
Liverpool won the league: 8,670
The Blues have scored 12 goals in the last 15 minutes of league matches this season, more than any other Barclays Premier League club.
Chelsea have won 17 and drawn three of our last 20 home Premier League games, since QPR won at Stamford Bridge on 2 January last year.
Since the November international break, the Blues have won 28 points from a possible 33. Only Man City with 31 have won more in the same period.
Chelsea have gained 14 points from losing positions this season, the best record in the Premier League.
The Blues have won 11 of the 13 league games we have opened the scoring.
Chelsea have conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League (20).
The Blues are eight points up compared to the corresponding 22 fixtures last season.
We have kept six clean sheets and conceded just two goals in our last eight league and cup matches.
|Last six results|
|Dec 29||Liverpool (h)||W 2-1|
|Jan 1||Southampton (a)||W 3-0|
|Jan 5||Derby (FA Cup a)||W 2-0|
|Jan 11||Hull (a)||W 2-0|
|Jan 19||Manchester United (h)||W 3-1|
|Jan 26||Stoke (FA Cup h)||W 1-0|
League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 5
A home defeat: 20
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Mon 3 Feb||Manchester City away||8pm*|
|Sat 8 Feb||Newcastle home||3pm|
|Tue 11 Feb||West Brom away||7.45pm|
If selected, Ramires will make his 100th Premier League start for the club
Frank Lampard's next converted penalty will be his 50th for the Blues. Frank's next goal will be his 250th in his club career (Chelsea 209, West Ham 39, Swansea 1).
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)
West Ham have picked up nine points on the road from a possible 33.
Their two wins have come at Tottenham in October and Cardiff in their last away game, three draws at Newcastle, Southampton and Swansea and six defeats to Hull, Norwich, Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Man Utd and Fulham.
Despite lying 18th in the Premier League, only Arsenal (10) have kept more clean sheets than West Ham's nine. In the 11 games away from Upton Park they have achieved five shut-outs and have failed to score five times.
West Ham have lost 14 points from winning positions this term which is more than any other team.
They have gained only one point from losing positions, which is fewer than any other Premier League club.
The Hammers have gained only one point from the eight games they were behind at half-time.
West Ham have hit the target with just 35% of their shots this season, the lowest accuracy in the Premier League (OPTA).
Manager Sam Allardyce
Days in charge: 973
|West Ham's last 10 year league history|
|2003/04||74||4th||League Division One||2|
|Last six results|
|Jan 1||Fulham (a)||L 1-2|
|Jan 5||Nottingham Forest (FA Cup a)||L 0-5|
|Jan 8||Manchester City (Capital One Cup a)||L 0-6|
|Jan 11||Cardiff (a)||W 2-0|
|Jan 18||Newcastle (h)||L 1-3|
|Jan 21||Manchester City (Capital One Cup h)||L 0-3|
Premier League scorers (22)
C Cole 5, J Cole 3, Morrison 3, Diame 2, Noble 2 (1 pen), Nolan 2, Vaz Te 2, Maiga 1, Reid 1, own goals 1.
League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 6
An away defeat: 1
Completed January transfers
Ins Bertrand Traore (Bobo-Dioulasso, undisclosed), Nemanja Matic (Benfica, undisclosed), Mohamed Salah (Basel, undisclosed)
Outs Juan Mata (Man Utd, undisclosed), Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg, undisclosed), Sam Walker (Colchester, undisclosed), Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa, loan), Bertrand Traore (Vitesse Arnhem, loan), Patrick Bamford (Derby, loan), Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough, loan), Nathaniel Chalobah (Middlesbrough, loan), Josh McEachran (Wigan, loan), Michael Essien (AC Milan, free)
Ins Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan, loan) Marco Borriello (AS Roma, loan), Janaai Gordon (Peterborough United, undisclosed), Roger Johnson (Wolves, loan).
Outs Blair Turgott (Rotherham United, loan), Mladen Petric (released)
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Neil Swarbrick is refereeing at Stamford Bridge for the first time this season. His only Chelsea game so far was the 3-1 win at Norwich in October.
There are no suspensions.