Rafa Benitez will face his first away game as Chelsea manager when the Blues travel to West Ham in the early kickoff of the English Premier League.
Chelsea have fallen seven points behind league leaders Manchester United, and with Benitez feeling the wrath of his own fans in the last two home games - both goalless draws - the Spaniard will be a little relieved to sit on the bench at an away game.
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Benitez said he would continue to rotate his players, after leaving out Juan Mata from the starting lineup in the previous game. "We had too many players playing almost every game -- 11 or 12 of them -- and the others didn't have too many minutes," he said. "We will try to fix this.
"You cannot play every game because you lose the pace and the energy. We have quality so we can manage the squad, especially now we have Japan (Club World Cup) coming and after that Christmas which is a period here that is very important and, and if we do this we will be strong as a team and as a squad."
West Ham make no bones about playing the long ball and whipping in as many crosses as possible, and Benitez is well aware of the threat posed by the fellow Londoners.
"Carroll is good in the air but we have some good players in the defence who are also good in the air and it will be quite important the players win the first ball," Benitez added. "But we know it is a style of play in England and some other teams have the same idea and we will try to be aware of this.
"West Ham are doing well, they are comfortable in the middle of the table and it is a tough team to play against."
John Terry, Daniel Sturridge and Frank Lampard are ruled out through injury, while David Luiz is suspended.
For West Ham, Andy Carroll has been ruled out for a month, while Ricardo Vaz Te, Jack Collison and Alou Diarra are missing. On-loan Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun will be unavailable for West Ham because he cannot play against his parent club.
Expected lineups: West Ham: Jaaskelainen; Demel; Reid, Tomkins, O'Brien; Noble, Diame; Maiga, Jarvis, Nolan; Cole.
Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole; Mikel, Ramires; Mata, Hazard, Bertrand; Torres.
Prediction: 1-0 to Chelsea
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