West Ham vs Chelsea: England duo return as Carlo looks for more
Written by Joe Carroll
Chelsea duo Frank Lampard and John Terry are expected to be fit for the Blues short trip across London when they face West Ham on Saturday.
The pair were unavailable to play any part in England’s European Qualifiers over the international week and it seems the fortnight’s rest has put them in good stead ahead of this weekend’s fixture at Upton Park.
Whilst midfielder Lampard required surgery on his groin, defender and ex England captain Terry also missed out because of a hamstring problem picked up during Chelsea’s last outing at home to Stoke in the Premier League. The pair’s absence to the England cause was said to be a huge blow before the crucial qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland however, considering how well the team coped without them both Chelsea and England fans will be relieved that neither were needlessly risked.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke of their progress earlier this week, indicating that all going well two of his most important players will be featuring when the Premier League recommences this weekend:
“Terry will start to train with the squad this week and I think he will be able to play against West Ham.”
“For sure, Frank will be fit for the West Ham game. After the Stoke game Frank was in a lot of pain. So he decided, after talking to the club doctor, to resolve and remove the problem immediately.”
Chelsea have begun their Premier League campaign in much the same way they signed off the last one- in a rich vein of form. Having won their opening three games, scoring an impressive 14 and conceding none, Ancelotti will be keen to see his best performers fit in an attempt to gain even more ground in the early dash for the Premier League’s top spot.
But despite his sides impeccable start to 10/11, the Italian who triumphed in his first season in English football by bringing home the Premier League and FA Cup, insists that there is still room for improvement:
In football there are a lot of things, a lot of details that you can always improve. Every experience can give you the possibility to improve. I had good experience before I came here and now I think I improved with this experience.
Always the kind of character to mildly play down his success, there is more than a hint of modesty echoing with these words. At his previous managerial post at the San Siro, he led AC Milan to two Champions League successes and one Serie A title whilst also winning the Italian Cup and Italian Super Cup. With a record that speaks for itself, the Italian has no need to sound his own trumpet, instead choosing to stay focused on what the English tend to say is the most paramount thing in football- the next game.
If both Italy and England have proved similar in their yielding of trophies for Ancelotti, where they differ according to the Italian is in their daily attitude:
“There are not a lot of differences between Italy and England, but I think the English players have a stronger mentality, they like to work very hard on the pitch every day.”
It might be fair to say that Ancelotti already had this English trait before he stepped into the Chelsea hot seat, but all Chelsea fans will agree that the Chelsea boss has brought with him an ethic of hard work and focus, whilst instilling in his players a knack of not getting carried away. You only have to look at the performances and results of this season’s first three fixtures, as well as those that clinched last season’s league trophy.
7-0 vs Stoke; 2-0 vs Liverpool; 8-0 vs Wigan and this term 6-0 vs WBA; 6-0 vs Wigan and 2-0 vs Stoke. Ancelotti has his players far too well drilled for these performances to be flukes. Which is why the Italian is so keen to see two of his best players in Lampard and Terry return to action as soon as possible.
Far from suggesting that Chelsea are incapable of beating West Ham without the pair, Ancelotti merely recognises the importance of keeping a winning team with a winning mentality running like clockwork. And there is no doubt that the England pair who were by no means missed by their country this week are two players who make Chelsea tick.
Chelsea: England starlets Lampard and Terry are expected to feature after their respective groin and hamstring problems. Long term absentees Jose Bosingwa and Gael Kakuta are again sidelined and unavailable. Other than that Ancelotti should have a near fully fit squad to choose from at Upton Park
West Ham: The Hammers will be without their number 1 Robert Green after he pulled out of last weeks England squad with a thigh injury. His absence means recent capture Ruud Boffin could make his debut for his new club. Elsewhere Thomas Hitzsperger is ruled out with a hip injury whilst Zavon Hines and Jack Collinson are not expected to feature any time soon.
Will the Blues pick up their free scoring flow after the disruption of internationals?…Who do you expect to see on the score sheet?…Should Lampard and Terry be risked if they are not quite 100%?…please leave your comments below…
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