Saturday was a massive day for West Ham, but it was only one day and we are still far from out of trouble. Southampton were completely insipid and West Ham can expect a far sterner test on Sunday. The game will be dominated by football’s time to pay tribute to former Blues captain Ray Wilkins who sadly passed away this week. Wilkins was something of an ambassador for Chelsea – the club where he started his playing career and despite moves to some of Europe’s most illustrious clubs, it is with Chelsea that he is most synonymous. Wilkins always spoke sense in the commentary box and appears to have been well-liked throughout the football community, I know our travelling fans will put the rivalry to one side and pay tribute to Wilkins in the respectful way he deserves.
West Ham will be without Antonio on Sunday and will be for the remainder of the season, which is a blow but Fernandes was outstanding on Saturday and should keep his place this week. Lanzini still looks doubtful so Mario will continue in his place. Ogbonna and Rice will continue the centre-half partnership that is rapidly becoming West Ham’s most reliable. Abandoning the back three has been forced on Moyes because of injuries but it seemed to work well on Saturday and so I expect it to continue on Sunday.
Chelsea are not the all-conquering team they were last year and were swept aside by a vibrant Tottenham on Sunday, but they still have the star names and can turn it on at will. West Ham will have to pay them respect but not too much, they have very little to play for now in the league but with a favourable looking FA Cup semi-final tie against Southampton coming up, securing a place at Wembley may provide the motivation that might be lacking in other scenarios.
If West Ham can secure a point here it would another big step towards survival.