|Chelsea set to take on West Ham United in a London Derby [GALLO/GETTY].|
As Premier League action resumes after two weeks this weekend, Chelsea will be chasing their fourth straight win against Avram Grant’s West Ham United.
The champions have started the new season with a goal tally of 14 in just three games. The Hammers, on the other hand have stumbled to three successive defeats and are yet to collect a Premier League point.
Grant believes that his side’s troubles are due to a series of tough opening fixtures. On the positive side, the club’s midfielder Scott Parker has signed a new contract committing him to the East London club until at least the end of the 2013-14 season.
Second-placed Arsenal will host Bolton Wanderers as Theo Walcott, Arsenal winger is set to be out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.
And third-placed Manchester United will visit Everton, who have drawn once and lost twice.
Tottenham Hotspur, England’s fourth Champions League hopefuls, go to West Bromwich Albion looking to bounce back after their shock 1-0 home defeat by Wigan Athletic two weeks ago with new signings Rafael Van der Vaart and William Gallas set for their debuts.
The club’s striker Jermain Defoe has been ruled out for at least six weeks with an ankle injury, which he sustained during England’s 3-1 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday.
Tottenham have had a mixed start to the English Premier League season with a win, a draw and a defeat in their three opening games but the arrival of Rafael van der Vaart will give them a little more creativity in attack.
The Dutchman is hoping to make his “Spurs” debut when they visit West Bromwich Albion in the league on Saturday. “I think it’s a strong league. I’ve already played in Germany, in Spain, but England is something special I think and to play here, I’m really excited and yes, I hope it’s going to be a good first game for me.”
Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has undergone successful surgery on a right knee injury that is expected to keep him out for about six weeks.
Manchester City will look to secure a win against Blackburn Rovers after having lost 1-0 to Sunderland.
Fulham will host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Craven Cottage while Newcastle will play Blackpool. Liverpool coach Roy Hodgson will be looking for his team win against Wigan Athletic on Sunday.
Win, lose or draw, all those clubs at least have points on the board, unlike the Hammers whose form has shown little improvement from last season when they flirted with relegation after five years in the Premier League, putting a lot of pressure on Avram Grant.
Another man under the spotlight will be Gerard Houllier, who takes charge of Aston Villa for the first time at Stoke City on Monday.