Struggling West Ham are today’s visitors to Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho has no new injury problems to contend with. Carlo Cudicini will keep his place in goal, while John Obi Mikel is expected to figure for first time since he was sent off against Reading last month after apologising for his errant behaviour.
Meanwhile Joe Cole, one of only a handful of players to come out of England’s midweek friendly with any credit, will be hoping to line up against his former club. Cole’s chances increased this week when Michael Ballack said he would welcome being rested “for the odd game”.
Salomon Kalou is doubtful with a knee injury picked up in training.
Alan Pardew has had to draft in Crystal Palace goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly on an emergency two-week loan deal as cover for Robert Green following injuries to Roy Carroll and Jimmy Walker.
We ‘doubled’ West Ham last season, scoring seven goals to the Hammers’ two. Less than twenty minutes into the clash at the Bridge, we were a goal down and one man down following Maniche’s sending off. The game finished 4-1.
A similar result is required this afternoon if we’re to keep pace with Manchester United, who visit Bramall Lane.