The West Ham United fans are feeling quietly confident in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their trip to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
A trip to face Chelsea always represents a difficult looking fixture, but there has probably never been a better time to face the current Premier League champions. Chelsea come into the match on the back of a crushing 3-1 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur which all but ended their dream of finishing inside the top-four this season, so the Hammers will fancy their chances of taking something away from the clash.
The mood at West Ham is a stark contrast to the one which currently looms at Chelsea, as their victory over Southampton last weekend gave them a huge boost at a crucial point in the season. The last time that West Ham faced Chelsea also provided the club with a conveniently timed boost as David Moyes claimed his first victory as manager with a 1-0 win at the London Stadium, and the memory of that season-defining day will certainly give the club further reason to be optimistic on Sunday afternoon.
Moyes will need all of his players to be at the very top of their game to take anything away from Stamford Bridge today, especially Marko Arnautovic who has been a revelation for the Hammers since the Scotsman arrived at the club in November. However, there is reason to suggest that Arthur Masuaku’s performance will be the most important in claret and blue this weekend.
After winning the Greek title in back to back seasons with Olympiakos in 2015 and 2016, Masuaku earned a move to West Ham in the summer before they moved into the London Stadium, but he was bitterly disappointing in his first season for his new club. But after taking time to settle and adapt to the speed of the English top-flight, the Congolese star has begun to demonstrate the full extent of his ability with a string of fine performance this season.
Masuaku’s impact whilst moving forward with the ball has been the most defining component of his displays so far, but against the likes of Willian and Hazard he will have to prove his credentials as a complete full-back by preventing the aforementioned players from exploiting the right flank. If Masuaku can remain solid and prevent Chelsea’s flair players from finding space on his side of the pitch, and also foray forward to make an impact in the final-third, West Ham will have a brilliant opportunity to secure their survival with a shock victory over their London-rivals.
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