Can West Ham survive the bolts from the Blues?
12:00 29 January 2014
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West Ham have some huge games in February, but they face a huge task at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea tonight
West Ham’s new Italian signings are set to play a part in tonight’s (Wednesday’s) London derby clash at Chelsea, but it will still be a monumental task for the relegation-haunted Hammers to get anything from the game.
Antonio Nocerino and Marco Borriello began training with the club on Monday and they will face a Premier League baptism of fire if they figure at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea have never lost a league game under Jose Mourinho.
For the Hammers their important games come in February and perhaps the top priority is not to get thumped by the Blues, but boss Sam Allardyce is not ruling out a shock tonight.
“We can’t go to Chelsea and lie down,” insisted the West Ham boss.
“We can’t go there and think that we’re not going to get a result.
“When all is said and done, WestBrom should have beaten Chelsea there this season.
“If you play to your best and Chelsea are not functioning at their best, then you can get to the end result. It can be achieved at any one time in any one game and we’ve got to believe that it can be achieved.”
It will certainly be a big ask for the Hammers, but with two new arrivals and all but Joe Cole of their squad fit, it seems that at long last the club may be turning the corner.
“Things are looking good on the injury front again,” revealed a much-relieved manager.
“For the first time in many, many weeks we have got our defensive players back into training.
“Winston Reid is back in training, though he won’t be considered for Chelsea. James Collis is okay, George McCartney and Joey O’Brien are both back.
“For the first time, and I don’t want to tempt fare, there’s only Joe Cole that’s injured and I can’t ever remember only having one player injured over the last three months.
“Let’s hope it is an injury-free 2014 because that would certainly make a difference.”
With Roger Johnson already at the club and the two Italians joining on loan until the end of the season, the prospect of anyone else coming in seems remote.
“I don’t expect to be that busy now. I think that at the moment, with our two new signings, we’re at our 25-man limit,” he explained.
“Unless somebody leaves within the next four days I can’t see us doing any more business than the business we’ve just done.”