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All eyes will be on Upton Park for Saturday's early game as West Ham entertain London rivals Chelsea, who slipped seven points off the title pace with a second successive goalless draw on Wednesday against Fulham. Benitez will be satisfied by another clean sheet but he will have to do a lot more to endear himself to the Blues faithful and it will be a tough challenge against a Hammers side still occupying a place in the top half. Sam Allardyce's men are in the middle of a difficult set of fixtures and were beaten 1-0 by Manchester United in midweek.
• West Ham are the only team in the Premier League yet to concede a headed goal this season.
• 38% of the goals Chelsea have conceded have been headers, which is a league-high proportion.
Reports suggest that Andy Carroll is a doubt ahead of the visit of Chelsea after he sustained a knee injury in the 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford in the week. Sam Allardyce confirmed that Carroll will be given every chance to prove his fitness and would undergo scans on Friday. Carlton Cole will be on standby to replace him. Elsewhere, Allardyce has decisions to make at the back ahead of the home game with Chelsea. With Mark Noble serving a one-match suspension in midweek, James Tomkins was shifted into midfield, allowing James Collins a return to centre-half. Noble’s return this weekend will see the centre-halves vying for a starting berth alongside Winston Reid. George McCartney remains a doubt, which could see Joey O’Brien stay at left-back, allowing Guy Demel another start at right-back. On-loan Yossi Benayoun is unavailable to play against his parent club.
J Jaaskelainen • G Demel, J Tomkins, W Reid, J O'Brien • M Noble • G O'Neil, K Nolan, M Diamè, M Jarvis • A Carroll
John Terry and Frank Lampard are again ruled out due to recent knee and calf injuries respectively. Daniel Sturridge also remains sidelined for this one, while David Luiz is suspended after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season. Gary Cahill is expected to partner Branislav Ivanovic in central defence, allowing Cesar Azpilicueta to retain the right-back berth. Elsewhere, Juan Mata could come back into the first XI after being benched for Wednesday’s match with Fulham.
P Cech • C Azpilicueta, B Ivanovic, G Cahill, A Cole • J Obi Mikel, Ramires • J Mata, Oscar, E Hazard • F Torres