Match to be played on Saturday 23rd November 2013 at 17:30. Venue: Boleyn Ground, London.
When it comes to assessing a team's performance based exclusively on away form, Chelsea are in 13th place, behind local rivals Fulham, due to only one win on the road. This weekend, though, what better remedy for their travel sickness than slaying another London rival, West Ham United, on the Eastenders' own turf; the Boleyn Ground.
The match may not be particularly high scoring considering Chelsea have the third best defence in the division and have only conceded one goal fewer than the Hammers, however, manager Jose Mourinho will be looking for nothing less than victory as the Blues have collected just one Premier League point in the whole of November.
Here's the side Mourinho may go with…
GK – Petr Cech
Mourinho's confidence in Cech is almost never-ending and believes the only other shot-stopper to rival him as the world's best is another on the books at Stamford Bridge, but Cech needn't worry about his position, as Thibaut Courtois remains on loan at Atletico Madrid.
RB – Branislav Ivanovic
Ivanovic is one of a handful of players to have started every single match in the league so far this season without ever having been substituted. Expect that motif to continue this weekend as the right-back is a dueling beast.
CB – Gary Cahill
Sam Allardyce is no mug. If Chelsea get ahead, Allardyce will instruct his midfield runners to become more adventurous in order to chase the equaliser and the same will no doubt be said if there is parity on the scoreline. Cahill and defensive partner John Terry will need to be a rock against athletes like Stewart Downing, Ravel Morrison and Mo Diame.
CB – John Terry
Terry is a lock to start. He has made an astonishing 79 clearances thus far this season, 13 interceptions and, crucially, has given away just four fouls in 990 minutes of Premier League action.
LB – Cesar Azpilicueta
Ashley Cole will miss the London derby because of a rib injury so Cesar Azpilicueta, or Dave as he is known by his team-mates, will deputise. On average, he completes a tackle every 20 minutes…
CM – Frank Lampard
Super Frank did not feature for England midweek so should be fresh for Saturday's late afternoon kick-off. Detractors point to a decline in form but if there is one fixture that Lampard can get up for, it's one against his former employers!
CM – Ramires
There have been 11 matches available in the Premier League thus far. Ramires has played in every single minute. He is not known for his attacking prowess but what he does sublimely, is hold the fort in midfield, just ahead of defence. His tackling average is almost three successful ones per game, one clearance a match, one interception every game and he is an accurate passer to boot.
LM – Eden Hazard
West Ham United's midfield can stifle attempted attacks from the opposition, as was perfectly demonstrated by the Irons' recent victory over Tottenham Hotspur. For Chelsea, a technical authority to stamp on the match must be a mandatory requirement, leaving the threesome behind the striker to be Hazard, Mata and Oscar.
RM – Juan Mata
Against a tackling Iron inferno, Chelsea need to retain the ball, release it quick and have players able on the ball. Mata is all of these with an 88% pass completion rate with 15 key passes made to date in just 386 minutes.
AM – Oscar
Oscar, while still a chance creator and maker of key passes, is not as creative as Hazard or Mata but remains a goal-threat and a precise striker of the football (47% of his 19 shots are on target).
CF – Fernando Torres
The Spaniard's first goal for the Blues was against West Ham… can history repeat itself?