Predicted West Ham United XI to play Chelsea: Old face to make starting comeback

Match to be played on Saturday 23rd November 2013 at 17:30. Venue: Boleyn Ground, London.

The London Derby will be a fiercely hard fought game, but it couldn't have come at the worst time for West Ham.

The East London side currently have a injury list the size of a small book and will be looking at how to square pegs in round holes to combat their rivals quality. 

The last game showed how much their injury list affected their quality as they went out 3-1 losers to relegation battlers Norwich City. They now face a much more daunting task against a relatively injury free Chelsea side, that are looking to inflict some damage after two poor results.  

Chelsea got into the game with a strong side and the ability to pick from their superstars, and in fact could give some players a crack at first team football. Unfortunately, West Ham are a far cry from being able to do that. 

This is how we expect West Ham to line up:


Demel Collins Tomkins McCartney

Noble Diame

Downing Nolan Morrison

C. Cole

Analysis: The defensive midfielders will be under huge pressure to produce in the game and will be tasked with the job of stopping the impressive array of Chelsea attacking midfielders. Noble and Diame have been in good form this season, and they will need to be at their very best against Chelsea. 

The defensive pairing at centre back will also be under a lot of pressure, whether it be against Torres or Eto'o both strikers are hungry to get goals and start a little run and it will be their job to stop them. I imagine the pace of Torres will not be what the West Ham backline will want to deal with, but will have to find away to combat that.

The three forward-lying midfielders will be the spark for everything good West Ham want to produce. Ravel Morrison has been in terrific form recently and could show himself on the bigger stage Saturday against one of the leagues top sides. The influential Nolan will be expected to be the hub of everything good for West Ham as usual.

Carlton Cole could be thrown into the thick of it as he could look to prove a point against his former employees with a good performance. The re-signed West Ham striker is yet to start a game since his return, and it could be the perfect chance to cut the striker a break on Saturday and let him do what he does best. 

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