On the Sixteenth Matchday of the 2017/2018 Premier League campaign, Antonio Conte’s Chelsea will make the trip East for a feisty London Derby against David Moyes’ West Ham United.
The Hammers go into the clash off the back of a respectable League defeat at The Etihad Stadium last Sunday evening, whereas, The Blues are fresh from a UEFA Champions League draw at home to Atletico Madrid in midweek, the away side are the firm favourites.
The affair will take place tomorrow (Saturday 9 December 2017), with a kick-off time of 12:30 PM and Live Television Coverage being provided by Sky Sports on Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Main Event.
Alternatively, you can catch Live Radio Commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live or you can stay right where you are for our Live Blog, including build-up, Text Commentary from The Press Box and reaction live from Stratford.
The visit of Conte’s West Londoners will take place at the club’s London Stadium, with a capacity of 57,000 and the option to go high into the 70,000’s it is one of the most spectacular arenas in English football.
Originally opening in 2012 for the London Olympics, the Ground’s footballing existence has been somewhat marred by violence and crowd unrest, not to mention supporter’s attitudes towards it.
This was catalysed early in this season when the first-team stars, then under Slaven Bilic, were forced to play the first four games of the season away from home due to Stratford hosting The World Athletics Championships.
But, The Stadium is slowly starting to feel more like home for The Claret & Blue Army, and tomorrow lunchtime will be the third time that the Blues have visited Stratford, leaving victorious by a 1-2 scoreline last time out as goals from Eden Hazard and Diego Costa meant that Manuel Lanzini’s late strike was a mere constellation.
Moyes is expected to continue to be without forwards Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez, but we will know more after he speaks to the Media today at Rush Green, a Press Conference that you can follow live right here on MooreThanJustAClub.
Skipper and Vice-Skipper Mark Noble could return to action, as too may centre-back James Collins, although more long-term absentees Jose Fonte and Sam Byram remain sidelined with injury.
Meanwhile, Conte had no such problems with his Chelsea Side and a very near full-strength Squad to choose from, as David Luiz is their only player ruled out.
The Blues’ biggest danger surely comes in the form of winger Eden Hazard, while Alvaro Morata poses a huge threat in attack, so too Marcos Alonso and Thibaut Courtois is sure to put in a solid showing between the sticks.
The teams West Ham United and Chelsea have met a staggering 108 times in Competition Football, a London rivalry that he been being played out since October 1923.
Overall, the record makes for unpleasant viewing for any Hammer as The Blues have been victorious 49 times, there have been only 20 draws and The Claret & Blue Army have marched away with the win on 29 occasions.
The last meeting between the two sides came in March of 2017, the aforementioned Chelsea win in Stratford, before that The Hammers had overcome Conte’s men in The EFL Cup to the tune of 3-1 at The London Stadium.
Notable past encounters include our two memorable triumphs at Upton Park in 2012 and 2015, but things have been fairly even in recent times, two wins apiece in the last five fixtures and one draw, after a long period of Chelsea domination.
Chelsea Football Club was founded in 1905 and have enjoyed a steady rise to becoming one of England’s most celebrated and coveted teams ever since that day over 112 years ago.
The Pensioners’ biggest achievement so far surely came in 2012, when they triumphed in The Champions League, beating Bayern Munich in The Final under Roberto di Matteo.
Aside from that, the West Londoners are the holders of six English Top-Flight Titles, five of them coming after the takeover by Russian Owner Roman Abramovich, they have also won seven FA Cups, five League Cups, and a single Europa League, European Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup.
Nowadays, under former Italy Boss Antonio Conte the outfit are reigning Premier League Champions and are currently sitting third in the Standings, a full 11 points off leaders City in the wake of a slightly underwhelming start to the campaign.
Who Is Officiating?
Experienced Select Group Referee Anthony Taylor will be the man in the middle tomorrow lunchtime, Assisting him will be Peter Kirkup and Stuart Burt, with Graham Scott assuming the role of Fourth Official.
So, with The London Stadium scene well and truly set for a memorable local lunchtime derby, can Moyes claim a shock first three points of his reign in East London to move out of the bottom three?
Or, will the visitors gain some ground on those they are chasing at the top with a victory of their own? Think you know? Be sure to head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to cast your last-minute score predictions and join the pre-match discussion.