West Ham V Chelsea at Boleyn Ground : Match Preview
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Allardyce bemoans lack of goals
Manager Sam Allardyce hopes his strikerless West Ham can surprise Chelsea in Saturday's London derby at Upton Park.
In the continued absence of Andy Carroll, whose rehabilitation from a heel injury is continuing, Allardyce has been less than impressed with his other forward options and has instead opted to pack his midfield.
The tactic worked in the 3-0 win at Tottenham and Allardyce hopes it can do so once more against Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.
"Our strikers at the moment are not delivering goals," Allardyce said.
"None of our strikers have created too many goalscoring opportunities when they've played and taken them.
"We changed that, we delivered chances to score goals, we score them against Tottenham and we haven't scored as many since then.
"We've created some massive opportunities and outplayed a lot of teams since we've played without a striker, so when you play with a striker you're then lighter in midfield and against Chelsea they would be more dominant.
"The tactical side of it has worked very well, it's just the end product hasn't produced what we've all wanted."
Allardyce has repeatedly bemoaned his side's lack of cutting edge up front but does not believe fielding a striker will make the difference.
He hopes the goalscoring burden will be shared.
"Every players' responsibility is to score this year as many goals as you scored last year and improve by one," Allardyce said.
"Last year's goals were enough to get us 10th. It's only doing what you did last year and we're not doing that.
"From a clean sheet point of view we're miles ahead of last year. We only got 11 in the entire season; we've already got six.
"We're way ahead and we should've bagged more victories on the back of that and be in a very comfortable position."
The Hammers boss could delve into the transfer market in January to solve his goalscoring problem.
He added: "It depends on what the availability of strikers might be. It's not an easy market
"We tried to sign four top strikers before the window shut.
"We tried our very, very best. Unfortunately none of the players that we went for wanted to join West Ham at that time. They went elsewhere or stayed at the club they were at."
Razvan Rat is doubtful with a hamstring injury sustained on international duty with Romania.
Rat's fellow defenders Joey O'Brien and James Collins (both hamstring) are expected to be fit despite withdrawing from duty with the Republic of Ireland and Wales through injury.
Winston Reid (ankle) could be fit and George McCartney (knee) is back in training, but Andy Carroll (heel), Mladen Petric (thigh), Matthew Taylor (thigh) and Alou Diarra (both knee) are absent.
Jose Mourinho is uncertain what to expect from his Chelsea players in Saturday's fixture at West Ham but is demanding improved performances away from home in the coming weeks.
Chelsea have won only one and lost two of their five Barclays Premier League matches away so far this season ahead of the trip to Upton Park, where the Hammers claimed a 3-1 fixture last season.
A second away defeat of the season at Newcastle was followed by a controversial home draw with West Brom which leaves Mourinho's men seeking their first Premier League win of November at the third attempt in east London prior to matches at Sunderland, Stoke and Arsenal before the year's end.
"We have to do better," Mourinho said.
"Our fixtures until now were not the easiest ones, especially when we speak about matches away. We've played already against two title contenders (Manchester United and Tottenham, both draws).
"We've had difficult matches, but of course we want to do better and we need to get more points in the next five matches away than we did in the first five matches (away)."
Mourinho was highly critical of his players' performance at Newcastle but does not know what to expect of his side following the international break.
And the Portuguese insists his side must have the right mindset going into the congested festive period.
He said: "These matches, when they come from national teams are always a question mark for us. But we have to speak, we have to meet, we have to understand that this is an important period.
"November, December, consecutive matches from now, no stop because of national teams. We need points.
"In this moment we are in the Champions League area. We are fourth. We are four points from the leader. We have to try. This situation gets better or at least it doesn't get worse. We need points."
Mourinho is not a fan of the international break and, for the past 11 days, Mourinho has had just four of his first-team squad available in Cesar Azpilicueta, Ryan Bertrand, John Terry and Demba Ba. Mourinho would not be drawn on whether Terry should make an England return.
Azpilicueta could continue at left-back, even though Ashley Cole is considered fit despite going off during England's loss to Germany on Tuesday with an ongoing rib problem. Fernando Torres is still out.
Mourinho expects his side will have to take the initiative against a Hammers side which has packed the midfield and gone without a striker in recent weeks.
Allardyce has already spoken highly of Newcastle's tactics in their win over Chelsea and employed similar tactics in the 3-0 win at Tottenham.
"Many teams in the Premier League are playing very defensive football, are thinking of trying to stop the opponent to play and after that to see what happens," Mourinho said.
"That is giving some good results to some different teams against the considered best teams in the competition.
"No criticism about that. They are defensive and they give difficult matches to the big teams.
"That's why everybody is losing points. That's why nobody is really dominant in this league.
"That's why this league has emotion every weekend, so I'm expecting a very difficult match.
"It always was in my time and it continues to be a hard match there. We have to be on the top of our game if we want a result."
Striker Fernando Torres is back in training following an adductor injury sustained in training at the start of the month, but is not yet ready to return.
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