West Ham United v Chelsea FC @ Upton Park
Saturday October 24 @ 3pm
Chelsea hope to get back to winning ways when they travel to Upton Park tomorrow after they were unlucky to record a goalless draw with Dynamo Kiev in Europe last week.
Chelsea dominated long periods of their mid-week Champions League clash with Dynamo and were twice denied by the woodwork.
Mourinho felt his side should have been awarded a first half penalty after questioning the referee’s decision making.
Speaking at a press conference today, the Chelsea manager said he was pleased with his team’s performance, but thought they might have been apprehensive given the need for points in the group.
“I think for about an hour the team played really well, the only thing we didn’t get in that hour was a goal that we deserved, it’s not easy to win in the Champions League,” he said.
“Champions League is a specific situation different to the premier league, a situation where every point is very important, and after the defeat in Porto it would have been very hard to loose.
“It was a difficult match for us because we want to win but we cannot lose.”
West Ham recorded impressive away wins against Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool earlier this season despite an uninspiring home record.
The Hammers sit in fourth position, six points ahead of Chelsea who are currently languishing in 12th place.
On his team’s chances against the Irons, Mourinho said: “Look at the table it’s easy, look at the table see where they are and see where we are, it is easy to make a conclusion.”
He also spoke of his admiration for West Ham counterpart Slaven Bilic who has guided the Hammers to their best ever Premier League start.
He said: “As a coach I like him a lot, since the Croatian national team period, to Besiktas and now West Ham, I have a very good image and idea about him.
“As a person I don’t know him very well but I have feeling that we could be friends.”
In a frosty atmosphere, the Chelsea man was unwilling to discuss videos that have emerged of him pushing a teenager this week, with a club spokesman quickly moving the discussion on to football.
He was also unimpressed with a journalist who posed the question of whether he would like any of the South African rugby team players, who visited Chelsea’s training ground last Sunday, in his squad.
He said: “You don’t get from me good and funny headlines.
“Because I’m going to treat your bosses the same way they treat me, with no respect.”
The Portuguese was also reluctant to talk about last year’s star player Eden Hazard, whose performances have come under much criticism recently.
He said: “I don’t have to answer this you have lots of people giving opinions on him.
“I am happy with his performance against Dynamo and that’s it.”
Club captain John Terry will make his 450th Premier League start should he be selected on Saturday
The Chelsea manager has tinkered with his centre back pairing in the last two games and stressed that despite who starts, they must defend as a team.
He said: “I try to make the best decisions for the team, I analyse the opponents and what the game can be. I try to reduce the unpredictability of every match.
“This is not about defenders, this is about the team and the team defended really well as a team in both matches.”
Mourinho reported that team news had not changed since the Kiev game, so quartet, Thibaut Courtois, Branislav Ivanovic, Loic Remy and Pedro, remain unavailable.
While Slaven Bilic confirmed that Enner Valencia is available for selection following his recovery from an ankle injury, but they will be without Victor Moses, who is on a season-long loan from Chelsea, and injured defender Winston Reid.