West Ham are in a great position to secure European football and even fight for Champions League football. Thomas Tuchel has discussed the threats that the Hammers pose
At the moment they are equal on points with Chelsea who are fourth on goal difference so this could be pivotal to where they could finish in the league at the end of the season.
Ensuring that they will be playing Champions League football next term is very much in their hands, but today’s clash with the Hammers could prove to be a defining fixture.
West Ham are genuine challengers, and Tuchel knows it. Speaking about today’s opposition in his pre-match press conference, the Chelsea boss is quoted by saying:
“I expect from them that they fight in a sporting way to be in the top four. They have had an extraordinary season. The team news is there is no new news. Mateo is still out, everyone else is available. The good news is we are now totally focused on the game, no other subjects, motivations, demotivations out there.”
“We expect a tough match. West Ham are a team that is very strong, relies on counter-attacks, relies on their solidarity and discipline in defence, which is the basis for very dangerous counter-attacking side, which they are. They are relying on set-pieces which is a real threat. So the challenge is clear.”
“We have to control the match, reduce ball losses, close the spaces intelligently before counter-attacks can start, and give away as few set-pieces as possible. That’s the plan. There are a lot of things to do and it’s a big challenge.”
All of West Ham’s brilliance this campaign to date has led to this moment. If they lose today, it could have all been for nothing. With the stakes so high, this promises to be an absolute cracker.