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Chelsea-West Ham United Preview

AP - Sports

West Ham United will be hoping that lightning strikes twice when they welcome Chelsea to Upton Park on Saturday.

Sam Allardyce's side produced one of the shock results of the last campaign when they beat Chelsea 3-1 at the Boleyn Ground a year ago. However, the Hammers (2-4-5) have been inconsistent so far this season, winning just one of their last ten games - albeit an excellent 3-0 victory in another London derby at Tottenham.

Two goalless draws were followed by a hugely disappointing 3-1 defeat to Norwich City just before the international break, and Allardyce knows that his players are going to have to up their game if they are to get a result against their talented opponents this weekend.

"We have to be on top of our game on Saturday," said the Hammers boss. "All the players who play and take part will have to hit top form - anything less than that will make life difficult for us.

"If we can do that, we can cause Chelsea one or two problems and ultimately pressure is fine and playing good football is fine, but scoring goals, converting chances and winning football matches is what we're all paid to do. We're not finding the end product at the moment, but we have to do that against Chelsea on Saturday."

The return of Jose Mourinho meant that there was huge optimism at Chelsea going into this season, but the Blues (6-3-2) have blown hot and cold as they adapt to the Portuguese manager's style. Just one point from their two games ahead of the international break added to the sense of anti-climax around the west London club, but Mourinho believes that the fixture list has been kinder to the much-heralded league leaders Arsenal, who sit just four points above his side.

"Some teams have been helped by the fixtures, but some have had it more difficult than others," said Jose. "Manchester United had it the most difficult. Then us. Some other teams, not so much. I didn't speak about it and David (Moyes) did. He was complaining about United's fixtures. And he's right, he's right.

"Yes, I used to say you have to play 19 games at home and 19 away and it doesn't matter about the fixtures. But you go to compare Arsenal fixtures with our fixtures, with Man United fixtures - it's incomparable."

West Ham have injury doubts over James Collins (hamstring), Razvan Rat (hamstring), Joey O'Brien (hamstring), Martin Petric (calf), Winston Reid (ankle), Matthew Taylor (calf) and Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder), but Andy Carroll (ankle) and Alou Diarra (knee) remain out. Chelsea have concerns over the fitness of Ashley Cole (rib) and Fernando Torres (hip).

The points were shared between these clubs last season, with Chelsea winning 2-0 at Stamford Bridge four months after the Hammers' shock win at Upton Park. That 3-1 victory for West Ham was their only win over the Blues in the last 14 meetings between the two clubs, dating back to 2003. Chelsea out-scored their London neighbours 30-8 in those 14 games.

Allardyce's side have taken just four points from five home games this season - the joint lowest in the Premier League. Chelsea have won once in five games on the road, picking up five points from a possible 15 away from home.

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