Sport Soccer

Monday 15 October 2018

Fired-up Rice looking to stop Chelsea juggernaut

West Ham will host a Chelsea side that has not dropped points this season.

Declan Rice says West Ham are “fired up” for the Chelsea clash (Peter Byrne/PA)
Declan Rice says West Ham are “fired up” for the Chelsea clash (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Press Association Sport Staff

Declan Rice has urged West Ham to carry over the momentum from their first win of the season for the visit of London rivals Chelsea on Sunday.

West Ham ended a miserable four-match losing streak with an impressive 3-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park last weekend.

The result helped to ease the pressure on new manager Manuel Pellegrini who was facing questions over his future just four games into his tenure at the London Stadium.

Rice, 19, started at Everton following Jack Wilshere’s latest injury setback, and impressed at the heart of West Ham’s midfield.

And with Wilshere set to be sidelined for six weeks following surgery on his ankle at the start of the week, Rice is likely to be given another chance to impress in Chelsea’s visit to east London.

The teenage midfielder was on the books at Stamford Bridge as a schoolboy before making the switch to West Ham, aged 16.

“Chelsea at home is a massive derby and we’re going to be fired up for it,” Rice told the West Ham website.

“We got a great point away last season (1-1). They are doing well, but with that result, we are going in with momentum and we want to win the game.

“I would 100 per cent love to be involved. The manager sees different things for different games but to play against Chelsea would be special.”

Chelsea are bidding for their sixth consecutive league win, but their preparations for Sunday’s London derby took a hit after their travel back from Greece following their 1-0 victory against PAOK was cancelled due to bad weather.

The Blues were due to arrive home in the early hours of Friday morning, but did not touch down until the afternoon, and less than 48 hours before their trip to the London Stadium.

Pellegrini, however, does not believe Chelsea’s Europa League exploits will have an effect on the Blues, instead calling on the Hammers to make their home advantage count.

“Teams like Chelsea are used to playing in Europe and playing three games in a week so I don’t think that will be an advantage,” Pellegrini said.

“The advantage will be for us if we play here at home and we believe that we can continue playing the same way against any team.

“Now it is Chelsea, next week it is Macclesfield in the Carabao Cup and Manchester United in the league. We have three games at home and we must try to play the same way we did the last game.”

Press Association

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