Chelsea FC vs West Ham: Thoughts And Prediction

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Chelsea FC vs West Ham; the last time these two teams met at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho accused Sam Allardyce and his men of playing 19th century football. The Hammers nicked a point by parking the bus, forcing a 0-0 draw.

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Mourinho seemed very displeased with Allardyce’s tactics, and hit out at him in his post-match interview. Allardyce responded by saying that he didn’t give a s**t what Mourinho thought, and that he was very happy with his point.

The previous encounter has set the tone for this much-anticipated Boxing Day match, but the Hammer’s fairy tale season adds much more to the plot. After 17 games played, West Ham are occupying the fourth spot on the Premier League table, only one point adrift of Manchester United, and two above Southampton.

They have had an unbelievable campaign so far, new additions Diafra Sahko and Enner Valencia has given them a real edge. They have combined for a total of nine goals and six assists, but they contribute in so many other ways.

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Midfield man Stewart Downing is also having a grand season himself, notching four goals and six assists, while Andy Carroll is back to full health all of a sudden, and banging in a few goals of his own.

The entire team is brimming with confidence, so much so, Carroll has even sounded a warning to the league-leading Blues. The forward has claimed that his manager knows just what to do to beat Chelsea, and that the encounter will be like a game of chess.

"“He knows how to beat managers, their tactics. He knows what they are going to do against us. It’s just a game of chess, really, looking a move ahead.”“It is different tactics, different teams. He’s not the same every week. Different things. Obviously he wants a win, but you’ve got to watch the teams, how they’re playing, how we’re going to break them down and win the game.”“He’s got loads of different ways of attacking, we’ve got loads of dimensions to go forward. We can do anything. That’s what our qualities are at the minute.”-Andy CarrollSource: Mirror.co.uk"

Allardyce is clearly getting the job done this season, he has shown that he can “out tactic” the Portuguese manager when he needs a point, but beating a Mourinho-led Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is something entirely different. Only Gus Poyet can boast such a feat, and Allardyce will have many pieces to go through if he is to checkmate Mourinho at the Bridge.

Chelsea will also be full of confidence coming into the match. They managed to “do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke” on Monday, and they did it quite comfortably, beating the Potters 2-0.

Eden Hazard limped off with an injury late in the game, but he has reportedly declared himself fit enough to play on Friday.

The victory ensured that Chelsea will go into Christmas top of the league, history shows that they have always won the title when leading on the 25th of December. Manchester City though, are only three points behind, and they have come from this type of position to win both of their titles.

With these statistics, the title race gets even more interesting, sort of like Laelaps’ chase of the Teumessian Fox. These two creatures stem from Greek mythology; Laelaps being a dog who was destined to catch everything it chased, and the Teumessian Fox being a giant fox destined never to be caught.

The paradox forced both of them to be turned into stone, but that won’t be happening in this story.

The Blues need to get a good result from this game, and those which follow, as this testing period could go a long way in determining the color of the ribbons on the trophy in May. They have played well so far, only losing one game since the season began, but they can’t afford to slip up now.

As well as the Hammers are playing, Chelsea have just the right mix of players to come out on top. The stubborn defensive partnership of John Terry and Gary Cahill — sandwiched between world-class fullbacks Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic, also protected by the robust Nemanja Matic — could withstand anything thrown at them.

The attack — led by prolific Diego Costa, with the brilliance of Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Oscar in behind — can now break the strongest of teams down when they play with enough width.

It will be a very challenging contest, with players from both these teams in the form of their lives, but I back the Blues to come out on top.

Final score: Chelsea – 2, West Ham – 0

Next: John Terry Better At 34 Than At 24?