Kurt Zouma excited at the prospect of facing Chelsea but West Ham man has no mixed loyalties

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma will be taking on his former team Chelsea for the first time in a Hammers shirt on Saturday and the centre-back is excited for the ‘special’ occasion.

Zouma spent seven years in west London, albeit punctuated with loan moves away from the club, but has never faced his former team in a competitive fixture.

That is set to change on Saturday, with the defender a guaranteed starter since his move across the capital and the Frenchman is delighted with how his move has gone so far.

“I’m very happy to be here. I’ve met some great guys and I love the stadium,” Zouma told WHUTV.

“We have some top players, it’s a family club and I really like the people around here. I felt very welcome from the first day when I arrived and, like I said, I’m very happy to be here.”

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Despite the prospect of coming up against his former teammates, Zouma is treating Saturday’s match as just another match with nothing but three points on his mind.

“It will feel special in a way because I’ve been there for so many years, but it’s a football game and like all the other games I want to win this game for my team,” he said.

“I want to beat Chelsea because I want to beat everybody. I play for West Ham now and I’m very happy to be here. It’s going to be a tough game as we know they have a lot of strength, but we have to use our strength to make them suffer.”

After a fine start to the season, West Ham have not won in the Premier League for three matches after two defeats and a draw. However, Zouma is backing the team to get back to winning ways and is taking confidence from West Ham’s performances against the ‘big’ clubs so far this season.

“Everybody knows what we need to do. We know that maybe we won’t get much of the ball, but we have to stick together and make sure we fight for every first and second ball and when we get our chances, be clinical, while also staying strong at the back,” he added.

“I think we’re motivated for every game. Like I said, the season has been great, we’re playing well, we managed to get good results and the feeling from the game on Wednesday [the 1-1 draw with Brighton] is that we’re feeling disappointed, which is a good thing because we want to win every game and obviously we’re going to be ready for Saturday.”

Looking forward to the remainder of the season, Zouma has his sights set on Europe once more and believes West Ham have the ability to compete right at the top.

“When you see the season we’re having at the minute, I don’t want to go ahead too much, but we can beat the top four and top six teams and that’s where we are at the minute – we can compete with everybody,” he added.

“That’s what we want, to be a competitive team and playing in Europe every season. Obviously, it starts from Saturday. It’s going to be a tough game, but we feel confident we can get points from that.”


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