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PL Preview: West Ham v. Chelsea

The what: Premier League, Round 4 – West Ham v. Chelsea
The where: Upton Park (35,303)
The when: September 11, 3pm local time (10am EST)
The how: ESPN2 (DirecTV 209, Dish Network 144)
The why: Because Super Frank is unable to play, and, well, a win against West Ham is always - always - satisfying.
The referee: Chris Foy

Just fabulous

The punt: Didier Drogba has scored five goals in seven starts against West Ham. Take a pop on The Mighty One opening the scoring Saturday.
The stat: West Ham have not defeated Chelsea since May 2003. Chelsea have netted 32 goals since last conceding, a league record.

West Ham —
20 (0 points)
League Form: LLL
Team: Green, Stech, Boffin, Upson, Tomkins, Ilunga, Ben Haim, Gabbidon, Spector, Da Costa, Reid, Daprela, Jacobsen, Behrami, Noble, Parker, Kovac, Barrera, Faubert, Boa Morte, Dyer, McCarthy, Sears, Nouble, Stanislas, Piquionne, Cole, McCarthy, Obinna
Doubtful: Behrami (thigh), Gabbidon (hamstring), Green (hip), Hitzlsperger (thigh)
Injured: Hines (knee), Collison (knee), Kurucz (knee)
Suspended: None
Leading scorer: Noble 1
Quote: "It's a challenge but it's a good challenge. They are the best in England, they play the best football and have played together for a long time. We are a new team that we need to develop but I think in football we cannot think in negatives. If we think negatively we will lose the game. They are a very good team but in football anything can happen and we need to think like this."
-Avram Grant

Odds on Scott Parker throwing himself about like it's the end of the world? Even, I say.


Position: 1 (9 points)
League Form: WWW
Team: Cech, Hilario, Turnbull, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Alex, Cole, Van Aanholt, Zhirkov, Essien, Ramires, Mikel, Benayoun, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka, Kalou, Kakuta, Sturridge, Borini
Doubtful: Ivanovic (back), Terry (hamstring)
Injured: Lampard (groin), Bosingwa (fitness), Bruma (hernia)
Suspended: None
Leading scorer: Drogba, Malouda 4
Quote: "(Kakuta) will be involved tomorrow in the game. Now he is first team, he will have the same opportunity as the other players and he deserves to play because he trained well, he is focused and concentrated,' explained the Italian. 'He will play and we now have to consider him not a young player but a player in the first team."
-Carlo Ancelotti

Quite a bit of significant news surfaced during King Carlo's pre-match press outing. Among them being that Frank Lampard has not recovered in time from his hernia procedure to feature against his former club. Ancelotti also went as close as he ever has in hinting that a youth player (Kakuta) could be involved in a significant match. Good on him for that. EBALJT is fit to return following his hamstring troubles, while Bosingwa is still two weeks away. Ivanovic appears to be out as well.

Award winner.

Projected XI

Bonus: Avram Grant, tactical genius. KTBFFH

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