Paul Parker

Drogba to down West Ham

Paul Parker

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Match of the weekend - West Ham v
Chelsea

Normally their home form is West Ham's strength but this
season even their most honest fan (such as my wife) will have to admit this
season is a fight for survival.

West Ham fans should keep their fingers crossed that the
Davids, Sullivan and Gold, take over because at least they are British, local
owners who have a track record of stabilising clubs and will pump some money
in.

Poor Gianfranco Zola does not know what's going to
happen next with the ownership issue, and the uncertainty is there for the
players too as none of them know where they'll be in
January.

The fans will look at the players have got and they
won't be happy but finances will not allow them to spend. Foreign free transfers
are all they can do at the moment and Hammers fans will believe they shouldn't
be going down that path - and they'd be right.

They need to get to January without losing their better
players and to get some quality in - not a panic buy, not paying over the top
for players like Alan Curbishley spending £5.5 million on Luis Boa Morte, but
the kind of player who will keep them up and stay next season whatever
happens.

West Ham are a Premier League club and they should be
doing better. They are a proper, localised, well-supported club, but they do
need a major boost.

They're going into a tough game that normally their fans
would expect them to do well in as a London derby.

Have they got the quality to outplay Chelsea? Have they got the
strength against Chelsea's midfield? Scott Parker may have
something to prove against his former club, and Matthew Upson coming back may
help settle the defence but they need the attacking threat they are lacking
without Carlton Cole.

They are really missing his strength and ability to
score - and to keep the ball away from the West Ham
goal.

I think they'll have a go and as long as they can keep
it 0-0 they'll think they have a chance. But I think it will be a Chelsea
win.

Player to watch - Didier
Drogba

He is scoring so many goals at the moment and West Ham
have been poor defensively. Robert Green had a shocker midweek but I think that was
a one-off.

If Drogba is firing on all cylinders, no-one can stop
him. It would be a massive boost for the Hammers if he misses out through injury.

Upset of the weekend - Portsmouth v
Liverpool

I'm reluctant to go for Fulham against Manchester United
after tipping Aston Villa last week - United fans might think I'm on a
witch-hunt against them.

Pompey have been boosted by Avram Grant, they have
picked up a few points and they played well against Chelsea and only lost out
to a late penalty.

Liverpool cannot
kill teams off at the moment and have been unable to follow wins with wins like
they normally do.

It could be a tight one.

Under pressure -
Rafael Benitez

The real pressure is on West Ham in general, but this
weekend they are not expected to win, while Manchester City will surely beat Sunderland at home as people talk about Mark
Hughes.

But Liverpool have to win this game to follow-up their
victory over Wigan.

They have to maintain form as quickly as possible,
especially as Benitez said he could 'guarantee' a top-four
finish.

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