Chelsea Battles Barren Run

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Fernando Torres needs to break his scoring drought for Chelsea. Image courtesy of Images
Chelsea has gone through the whole of November without recording a Premier League win. With a new month you’d expect new hope, but a fresh start with incoming manager Rafael Benitez wasn’t exactly greeted warmly by Blues fans at Stamford Bridge prior to the dour 0-0 draw with champion Manchester City last weekend.

Chelsea’s backline remains relatively solid, but an inability to score is crippling its ability to stay in touch with the Manchester teams at the top of the table. Spaniard Fernando Torres is copping plenty of the blame, after posting just 19 goals in 88 games in all competitions. Right now he hasn’t scored in 648 minutes on the pitch, and after consecutive scoreless draws, Benitez needs his countryman to find his goalscoring touch.

Promoted from the Championship, Sam Allardyce has done a more than respectable job in keeping West Ham in the top half of the table. Back-to-back away losses to Manchester United and Tottenham the past week have halted their charge, but the Hammers have been good at Upton Park all season. From seven starts there they’ve won three and drawn three, with the only defeat a 3-1 loss to Arsenal.

Chelsea has had no problems scoring goals in the past against West Ham. The last three games have finished with 3-0 , 3-1 and 4-1 Blues wins. Benitez appears intent on approaching games with a defensive mindset at this stage, though, with the team’s attacking midfielders like Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar all working harder in the back half in the opening couple of games of the Spaniard’s reign. This means the under 2.5 goals come come in to play, against what history tells us. 

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