Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea host West Ham on Wednesday night, knowing that a win, and a Man City slip up could see them move to the top of the Premier League.
Chelsea lie in third place, three points behind league leaders Arsenal, who have gifted Chelsea or Manchester City the chance to move top after dropping two points in a 2-2 draw away at Southampton on Tuesday night.
West Ham start the match in the bottom three but know a surprise win will see them move out of the drop zone, moving above another of their fellow London rivals, Fulham, in the process.
Chelsea are without Fernando Torres (knee) and midfielder Marco van Ginkel (knee), while Demba Ba is fighting Samuel Eto’o for a start against his former club. New signing Mohamed Salah will not feature as he is yet to arrive in the country.
West Ham could give debuts to new Italian loanees Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello and are also boosted by the return of Kevin Nolan following a four-match ban, but Joe Cole (groin) misses out on a return to Stamford Bridge.
The Premier League form table looks very different to these local rivals. Chelsea have won six of their last eight Premier League games, (drawing and losing one) whilst West Ham have only won one of their last eight, (drawing two and losing five).
West Ham have also not beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge since a 3-2 win in 2002 but will be buoyed by two wins away at Spurs this season, including a 3-0 thrashing in the Premier League. In fact, Chelsea have won 12 and lost just one of their last 15 Premier League matches against West Ham.
Chelsea are also unbeaten at home in the Premier League this season, winning 10 of their eleven games at the Bridge, notching up 25 goals along the way. They have also never lost at home in the Premier League under Jose Mourinho.
Although West Ham did beat Spurs away in the league, they have only mustered up one more Premier League away win all season and have lost more than half of their games on the road this season.
It seems likely that there is to be only one winner of this match, Chelsea. They are unbeaten at home this season and are high flying in the Premier League. West Ham are struggling both for form and in terms of their away form all season. They might be able to include new loan signings Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello in their match day squad but this is unlikely to spark a change in fortunes, especially at Stamford Bridge. The likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar will have too much attacking talent for West Ham to cope with and it could be a case of how many Chelsea win by.
Chelsea 3-0 West Ham