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Bring 'em on! West Ham relish Chelsea test

Filed: Monday, 15th August 2016
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's players are looking forward to beginning their Premier League campaign against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge later on today.

Winston Reid, who is set to start alongside Angelo Ogbonna at the heart of United's defence this evening says the team are hoping to repeat their unexpected win at the Emirates against Arsenal on the opening day of last season.

"Last season, that game really kick-started the season and we hope something similar will come our way," he told whufc.com. "It would be the perfect start.

"Itís going to be tough. Obviously they had a disappointing season last year and have a quality squad, but we want to try and go there and get a good result. We were disappointed [to only draw there] last season and it showed that weíve come a long way."

Those thoughts were echoed by recent arrival Havard Nordtveit, who is hoping to make his Premier League bow against Chelsea.

"If I donít make my debut on Monday, I hope it comes very soon Ė itís a big boy dream Iíve had seen I was little," he said.

"We have to take each game individually, we are only focusing on Chelsea [for now], and then the next game after that. After Chelsea we will know where we are, itís a long season. Of course we want to do as well as we can."

Meanwhile there will be added incentive for Angelo Ogbonna to do well against his former national boss. Antonio Conte, who barely used the centre half during Euro 16 quit his post followingItaly's exit before heading to Chelsea.

"We are friends, but not on the pitch," he told West Ham's website. "Every manager wants to do well in the first game and I think it will really be a good game.

"When I heard he was being appointed Chelsea manager and had the chance to come into the Premier League, I think it is good for him. Conte improved me as a player and all the players he worked with. I have a similar coach in Slaven who has the same character."

As previously mentioned, Conte's opposite number got off to the perfect start at Arsenal last season - and Slaven Bilic will be hoping his team are able to repeat the feat when he makes the short trip across the capital with his squad tonight.

"We are excited about the first game," he said. "We have had a good pre-season and have a good squad. We are expecting the new signings to improve us and we expect a tough game against Chelsea.

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