Chelsea v/s West Ham United
Chelsea make the short trip across London to The Boleyn Ground or Upton Park as they face West Ham United with manager Rafael Benitez manager looking for his first victory as the manager of The Blues. With the Chelsea fans not particularly happy with the sacking of the popular figure of Roberto di Matteo and the appointment of the former Liverpool boss as the interim manager, Chelsea’s performance has also suffered over the last two games with the side drawing blank in two consecutive 0-0 draws against Manchester City and Fulham.
With Roman Abramamovic presumably giving up on his Barcelona in Blue dream, signifying the first victory for the new manager, it is extremely unlikely that The Tinker Man will change the style of playing, particularly as they look to get the points in the bag. And that is what the Chelsea fans are unhappy about, especially after the way the Spanish manager failed to get even any kind of effort out of their £ 50 million striker Fernando Torres. Chelsea were playing at the very highest level before their loss to Manchester United at home and after the chaos that followed involving referee Mark Clattenburg, it seems to have gotten the worst of them.
Chelsea have failed to win a single game in either the Premier League or the UEFA Champions League since that defeat to United, except a win against them in Capital One cup, and that too, after extra time. Benitez had the habit of tinkering with his side during his stint at Liverpool and according to reports that are arriving from inside the club, the players are extremely skeptical about their playing chances under the new manager. Although they have voiced their support for the new manager, their attitude seems to be extremely indifferent and the match against Fulham on Wednesday was testament to that.
It is expected that Chelsea will play a flat 4-5-1 formation, employing a five man midfield and crowd out the centre of the playing field so that West Ham’s dangerous midfield options of Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble don’t get the chance to spoil their chances of winning. Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar are all expected to be a part of the midfield with Oriol Romeu expected to take John Obi Mikel’s place in central midfield as the holding player. The defense is also subject of contention with the Spaniard full of options.