Chelsea vs West Ham: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to the festive fixture at Stamford Bridge

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The Independent Football

Chelsea will look to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to six points when they host London rivals West Ham on Boxing Day.

Jose Mourinho's Blues, who confirmed their place at the top of the Premier League at Christmas with a 2-0 win at Stoke on Monday, will look to continue their fine form with a win against high-flying opposition.

Last season Mourinho was unimpressed with West Ham, accusing Sam Allardyce of playing "18th century football" as the Hammers battled their way to a 0-0 draw at the Bridge.

This season, however, West Ham are a team transformed, playing exciting vibrant football. The Hammers are the surprise of the season and sit in fourth place just a point behind Manchester United.

Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll and Mark Noble - who could miss the game with a calf problem -  have been crucial to their success this season and will play key roles if West Ham are to get a result.

Eden Hazard is a slight concern after being injured late on at the Britannia, but the Belgian is the only worry for Mourinho.

KICK-OFF: Boxing Day, 12.45pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Chelsea 0 West Ham 0, Premier League, January 2014

West Ham 0 Chelsea 3 (Lampard x2, Oscar) , Premier League, November 2013

Chelsea 2 (Lampard, Hazard) West Ham 0, Premier League, Mar 2013

STATS…

West Ham have not won on any of their last eight league visits to Stamford Bridge (D2, L6).

The Hammers' last win at Chelsea was in September 2002, when Paolo Di Canio scored twice to propel West Ham to a 3-2 win.

Their only previous Boxing Day meeting came in 1973 when Ron Greenwood's Hammers won 4-2 at Stamford Bridge despite being 2-0 down at half-time - the scorers included Frank Lampard Sr.

ODDS…

Chelsea to win: 1.33

West Ham to win: 8.5

Draw: 5.5

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 12.45pm, highlights on BBC1 at 11pm

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