Chelsea can make it four straight wins in all competitions and reaffirm their status of Premier League leaders by defeating London rivals West Ham United on Boxing Day.
An early headed goal from captain John Terry at Stoke City on Monday eased significantly any pressure the Blues might have felt after seeing champions Manchester City reduce their lead to at the top to mere goal difference two days earlier.
And they went on to win fairly comfortably at the Britannia Stadium, providing concrete evidence that the shock reverse to Newcastle United on December 6 is now completely out of their system. Nemanja Matic sat out that particular game through suspension, underlining his value to Jose Mourinho’s side.
In the aftermath of this fixture last season, Mourinho accused West Ham of playing ‘19th century football’, but the Irons have moved on remarkably since then and deservedly lie in the Champions League places thanks to a run of four wins in five games.
They will not fear this trip, nor will they be daunted by a visit from Arsenal on Sunday, while the in-form Andy Carroll will be confident of continuing his impressive form here after scoring again at home to Leicester City last time out.
Nathan Ake is still out for Chelsea, who could recall Oscar to their starting XI, particularly with Eden Hazard having been forced off late on at Stoke.
West Ham also have relatively few injury worries, with James Tomkins expecting to recover from a thigh problem in time to play.
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