Boxing day football is always a special occasion on the Premier League calendar and this year will be no different as east London meets west London in a classic Premier League derby.
West Ham will travel across the capital in search of their first victory at Stamford Bridge in over a decade after a Paolo Di Canio inspired Hammers side won 3-2 in 2002.
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West Ham fans travelling to Stamford Bridge haven’t had much to cheer about recently. Their team have fired blanks on their last three visits to Chelsea, with their last goal in this fixture coming in 2010 courtesy of Scott Parker. On that occasion they still lost 4-1, so Parker’s strike proved little more than a consolation on that occasion.
They did manage to frustrate Chelsea last season, holding them to a 0-0 draw in what was a typical solid away performance under Sam Allardyce. Allardyce was told over the summer that his team must carry more of an attacking threat and they responded immediately by putting three goals past Crystal Palace in their first away game.
Chelsea will prove to be a sterner test for the Hammers and will provide Sam Allardyce with the ultimate test of his attacking credentials.
Their defence is historically tough to breach under Mourinho and they have carried an extra attacking threat this season too, which could spell trouble for West Ham if they look on last seasons result for hope.
The signings of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have proved an instant hit with both bringing goals and assists to the Chelsea team. The extra dimension those two in particular have brought to the team means that Chelsea are a different animal compared to last season, and its worth remembering that they have the likes of Hazard, Oscar and Schurrle still in their ranks to provide extra firepower.
If West Ham are to prove that they can be an effective attacking unit while remaining tight and efficient in defence then this would be the game to do it. However, it would be hard to bet against anything other than a home win given Chelsea’s formidable record under Mourinho and the weapons he has at his disposal.
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