Chelsea Line-up vs West Ham: Hazard, Costa & Willian START, Cahill DROPPED

Chelsea take a short bus trip to Boleyn Ground this afternoon to take on London rivals West Ham United.

Jose Mourinho rang the changes for the win over Aston Villa last weekend, following the defeat against Southampton. Eden Hazard was surprisingly omitted from the starting XI, and replaced by Pedro on the left flank.

Willian lined up on the opposite side, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek earned a start ahead of Oscar in the number ten role. Cesc Fabregas partnered Ramires in the double-pivot with Nemanja Matic continuing to be overlooked in the engine room.

There were significant changes in defence too, with Baba Rahman replacing the hamstrung Branislav Ivanovic at left-back, allowing Cesar Azpilicueta to shift to his favoured right-back role. Kurt Zouma was also recalled and displaced Gary Cahill in central defence. Finally, Diego Costa returned from a three-match suspension to lead the line, as Radamel Falcao dropped out.

Pedro has been ruled out again after missing the midweek stalemate against Kiev with a knock; this could see Hazard recalled to the side on the left of the attacking midfield trio. Oscar offers a further option in attack should Mourinho rotate, while a recall for Matic in central midfield could see Fabregas deployed in the number ten role.

An unchanged back-four would seem likely following last weekend’s clean sheet, though Cahill will be pressing for a recall after earning a shut out in midweek. Loic Remy is also ruled out with a knock and joins Ivanovic on the sidelines, while first-choice stopper Thibaut Courtois remains out with a knee injury.

Having said this, here is how Mourinho is expected to line-up his side against West Ham.

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