Right to the very top, was the famous prediction from Uncle ‘Arry Redknapp. As a player, it came true several times over. As a manager, Frank Lampard’s still just at the very start of his journey. It’s been a good start, but it can get better. With just one win in the last four games in all competitions, it needs to get better starting with this one.
No one wants to not beat West Ham at home, especially given the connections between the clubs and through Frank Lampard himself.
It’s also an opportunity for the home support to show their love for the manager, for the team, and do it without using racist words. Yes, the p-word in the “Frank Lampard scored 200” song is racist. We’ve shown that we can be better when it comes to the y-word. Now it’s time to learn the same lesson in this situation, and show that we can be better once again.
Date / Time: Saturday, November 30, 15:00 GMT; 10am EST; 8:30pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Jonathan Moss — first Chelsea match of the season for Jonny Moss, whom we last saw in the League Cup final last season.
Forecast: Pretty darn cold
On TV: none (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select HD2 (India); Canal+ Sport 2, SuperSport 5 (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: NBC Sports Gold (USA); HotStar (India); DStv Now (NGA); Chelsea TV (int’l — audio commentary only)
Chelsea team news: For the first time since the start of the season, there’s concern over the center forward position thanks to Tammy Abraham’s hip injury. The youngster has more than made the position his own since earning Lampard’s faith, but that task will have no now fall to either Michy Batshuayi or Olivier Giroud.
Not for the first time since the start of the season, there’s also concern over the team’s defensive solidity. Unfortunately, Antonio Rüdiger is still not available, though he’s getting close and is working as fast as he can towards match fitness.
Chelsea will also be without Callum Hudson-Odoi, who continues to deal with a minor hamstring strain, and Ross Barkley, who continues to deal with a major professionalism strain (and possibly injured as well, but that’s just a flimsy cover story at this point, one suspects).
Chelsea’s Premier League win streak came to an end last weekend at the Etihad. It’s time to start a new one and continue keeping a comfortable distance above fifth place.
West Ham United team news: The cushion that Chelsea are worried about is 7 points above fifth place. The gap the Hammers are worried about is just 3 points above the relegation zone. Manuel Pellegrini, Lampard’s former manager at Manchester City, is certainly feeling a bit of heat these days.
West Ham’s last win in any competition came over two months ago, towards the end of September (2-0 against Manchester United, funnily enough). They dropped out of the League Cup since with an hilarious 4-0 defeat at Oxford United, and have gone 7 without a win in the league (2 draws, 5 losses). They have conceded 3 goals in each of their last three games, although have still only conceded 4 goals more than Chelsea in the league thus far (23 vs. 19).
The Hammers will be without goalkeeper Łukasz Fabianski (Spanish veteran Roberto will deputize), as well as midfielder Manuel Lanzini, who seems to always play well against Chelsea, and the perpetually injured Jack Wilshere. Once oft-rumored Chelsea transfer target Michail Antonio is healthy these days however.
Previously: Eden Hazard scored a brace, including one of the goals of the season last time the Hammers journeyed across town to Stamford Bridge.