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West Ham United vs. Chelsea: squad news, TV & streaming information, preview

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Back from the last international break of 2013, Chelsea look to get back on track in their Premier League title challenge.

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Scott Heavey

Fifty one weeks ago, this fixture - the 99th meeting between the two sides - provided, arguably, the lowest of the low points (and there were a few, to be sure) of Chelsea's 99th competitive season.

Now, in their 100th season with the 100th meeting, Chelsea will look to instead re-kickstart their league campaign that has seen them drop five points in the last two matches, the one rescued point coming via a last-gasp penalty kick at home.  (Of course it was and still is controversial.)

In equally hilarious and somewhat concurrent developments, most of our rivals proceeded to drop points on the last matchday as well, and so Chelsea remain within realistic touching distance of Arsenal at the top.  Just a four point gap going into December?  There's everything left to play for.

By the time Chelsea play, we will have known the results of the three teams above us but a win here is most likely a "must have" in any case.  The last 27/38th of the season starts here!

Date/Time: Saturday, November 23, 2013, 17:30 GMT; 12:30pm EST; 11pm IST

Venue/Location: Upton Park, London, UK

Forecast: Partly cloudy and cold with temperatures just a couple degrees above freezing; winter is here

On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); NBC (USA); Star Sports 4 (India); elsewhere

Online: Sky GoNOW TV (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)

West Ham squad news: The Hammers don't have many wins; they do have many injuries though.  Nine are listed on Physio Room, including some of the big boys for Sam Allardyce.  No, that's not an Andy Carroll joke.  Joining Carroll on the disabled list are Winston Reid, Razvan Rat, Alou Diarra, Mladen Petric, and Matthew Taylor.  Center backs James Tomkins and James Collins face late fitness tests, as do full backs Joey O'Brien and George McCartney.

So who is fit?  Allardyce has been playing Kevin Nolan as his furthest forward attacking player, which is akin to playing Frank Lampard as a center forward - i.e. he may just end up scoring.  Expect Mark Noble somewhere in the middle, with two or three of Stewart Downing, Matt Jarvis, Ravel Morrison, and Joe Cole filling the wide roles.  Jääskeläinen will be the män to beat between the pösts.

View from the enemy: Like House Greyjoy of the Iron Islands, the Irons aren't really part of the Westeros SBN core, though Allardyce would make a very good ironborn methinks.

Chelsea squad news: Fernando Torres has failed to recover from his leg injury and so he's tasked with keeping Marco van Ginkel company this week.  Ashley Cole's ribs are apparently feeling well enough to be selected however.  Who does he think he is, John Terry?

Previously: The cross-town foes first met in 1923, a 0-0 draw was followed by a 2-0 defeat for the Blues just seven days later.  Things have improved since, with Chelsea holding a slight 44-37 edge in wins from the previous 99 meetings.  Last season's defeat at Upton Park interrupted a string of 13 undefeated for Chelsea in this fixture (11 wins, 2 draws) although despite that stellar record, Mourinho expects a tough game.

"We have to focus on this match, it will be a difficult match for us, it always was during my first time here and I think every team has a hard match there, so we have to be on top of our game if we want a result."