Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says London rivals West Ham are his guilty pleasure ahead of the big top four clash on Saturday.
There is no love lost between West Ham and Chelsea.
But thanks to Roman Abramovich’s billions the west Londoners have elevated themselves to elite level over the last couple of decades.
West Ham have slowly built a side capable of competing towards the top end of the table in the last couple of seasons.
The Hammers missed out on fourth spot – and a place in the Champions League – to Chelsea by a solitary win last season.
And David Moyes has challenged his players to make up those points this season.
Chelsea currently lead the way with over a third of the season gone.
And West Ham are clinging on to their place in the top four ahead of the visit of Tuchel’s side for the lunchtime kick-off at the London Stadium.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool appear to be on a different level to everybody else this season.
But speaking ahead of the clash of east meets west London, Tuchel told the press that his guilty pleasure is sitting down to watch the energetic West Ham side Moyes has built.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says London rivals West Ham are his guilty pleasure ahead of big clash
“They have almost been in the top four last season, they were fighting the whole season for these places,” Tuchel said in his pre-match press conference.
“Very, very good team. Very good coach. And huge solidarity that they show.
“It’s always a joy to watch their games because they play with a lot of energy, a lot of positivity. They believe in what they are doing. They did not have too many changes to the team, they play as a team, they do what they do good and they believe in themselves.
“And that’s why everybody deserves where they are. At the moment they are in fourth place, they play strong in European competitions. It’s a tough match, it’s a tough team to play against….
“We need to be on our top level to have a chance to win.”
The Chelsea boss comes across as a very knowledgeable guy. And he is certainly a top class manager based on his time at Stamford Bridge so far.
The Hammers have stuttered in recent games since the loss of Angelo Ogbonna.
Let’s hope West Ham can get back to their best and prove Tuchel right.
A win for West Ham would see them close the gap on their London rivals to six points as we close in on the halfway stage of the campaign.