West Ham United vs Chelsea Preview

November 30, 2012
By: Deke Hardman

Rafael Benitez’s search for a first win and first goal as Chelsea manager goes to Upton Park in Saturday’s early kick off, when the European Champions face West Ham United.

The hosts, who have slipped to tenth place after suffering back to back defeats for the first time in almost a year, could welcome back midfielder Yossi Benayoun and defender George McCartney following their respective injuries, though Ricardo Vaz Te, Alou Diarra and Mohamed Diame are all out.

Andy Carroll finally broke his West Ham duck in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, and the England striker is a 9.0 (8/1) shot with Ladbrokes to get the first goal of the game, while top scorer Kevin Nolan is widely available at 11.0 (10/1).

Sam Allardyce’s men are as generously priced as 4.33 (10/3) for the victory, with Chelsea odds on at 1.91 (10/11) with the majority of firms. Stan James offer the best price of 3.6 (13/5) for the draw.

Chelsea go in to the game on the back of their 0-0 draw against Fulham on Wednesday evening, having achieved the same score-line in Sunday’s visit of Manchester City.

The last time Chelsea played out two goalless games was under Claudio Ranieri, before the arrival of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, and the two results won’t have helped a new manager who is already struggling to win over those fans who challenged his appointment.

The visitors have no fresh injury worries, though Daniel Sturridge, Frank Lampard and Captain John Terry remain side-lined.

Joint top scorer Juan Mata, who is likely return to the starting line-up after coming off the bench in the West London derby is 3.6 (13/5) with Bet 365 to score at any time during the game.

The last time these two teams met was towards the end of the 2010/2011 season. Chelsea ran out 3-0 winners in a game that saw Fernando Torres grab the first of his eleven league goals for the Blues so far. The Spaniard is favourite to open the scoring Saturday lunch-time, with Bet Victor offering the best price of 7.0 (6/1).

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