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The best case scenario for West Ham this week as David Moyes faces nervy wait with watching brief
Photo by ADAM DAVY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The best case scenario for West Ham this week as David Moyes faces nervy wait with watching brief

West Ham United are either in a privileged position or approaching an unwanted pressure point.

How many points West Ham will need to make the top four and secure Champions League football

Most Premier League managers would love the nine-day rest West Ham are getting between the narrow defeat at Manchester City and their next game at home to Leeds next Monday night.

And West Ham need it. They need it to get Lukasz Fabianski back and shake off niggles to other players.

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A rest and games in hand or points on the board?

But they perhaps also need it to reassess and recalibrate ahead of the final push which could see them achieve a Champions League dream.

For David Moyes – and thousands of West Ham fans, though, it means a nervy watching brief this week.

A fixture list quirk means all but one of West Ham’s rivals for the European spots play three games before the Hammers next kick a ball.

A disastrous week of results for their rivals could push West Ham down to ninth.

It was a mixed start to what promises to be a strange week for West Ham.

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Nervy watching brief for Moyes due to fixture quirk

Tottenham ran out comfortable winners over Burnley to cut the gap between them and the Hammers from nine to six points.

Aston Villa had already done the same with victory over Leeds.

Chelsea and Manchester United drew as the Blues closed to within a point.

Liverpool beat Sheffield United 3-0 to go within two points of West Ham.

West Ham fans will be hoping Southampton can beat Everton to keep them from closing to within two points as well.

All those sides will play twice again each before West Ham face Leeds.

West Ham will have a game or two in hand.

But, depending on the results, Moyes may well prefer to have points on the board over games in hand.

So what would a good week look like from this point on for West Ham’s European hopes?

Defeat for Everton for a start. Man City winning against Wolves on Tuesday may also benefit West Ham long term.

The sooner City get the title won the more they can rest key players to ensure they are ready for their Champions League push.

If City win the Champions League, fifth place will be good enough to qualify for Europe’s top competition.

The same will be true if Chelsea or Liverpool finish top four and win the Champions League. But let’s not focus on that just yet.

Leicester failing to beat Burnley on Wednesday would keep West Ham within touching distance of the Foxes.

West Ham will need foes to become friends when Sheffield United play Villa on the same day.

On Thursday Big Sam Allardyce needs to do his old club West Ham a favour by helping West Brom get a result at home to Everton.

Moyes will want a much-improved Fulham to get a result against Spurs on the same night.

The big one, though, is Liverpool vs Chelsea. Even if all the results have gone West Ham’s way elsewhere up to this point, whatever happens in this one will knock West Ham off fourth spot.

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The best case scenario for West Ham’s European hopes

A draw puts Chelsea above West Ham on goal difference and leaves Liverpool a point behind.

Wins for either will put them ahead of the Hammers.

West Ham fans get a break from the European equations on Friday. But results for Burnley against Arsenal, Wolves at Villa and Brighton at home to Leicester are desirable.

The Hammers will be hoping for another favour from Fulham when they go to Anfield on Sunday.

And Palace could be the only thing stopping Tottenham going above West Ham by Sunday night if Jose Mourinho’s side have seen off Fulham in midweek.

West Ham kick off at 8pm against Leeds on the Monday. But before that at 6pm Chelsea take on Everton.

A draw makes sense for West Ham. But a win for Chelsea would not necessarily be a disaster either.

Chelsea are looking good for a last eight spot in the Champions League.

And as touched on earlier if a team in the top four wins the Champions League, fifth place in the Prem will qualify.

It’s enough to give you a migraine. So goodness only knows how Moyes feels.

West Ham just have to make sure they take care of their own business and get a win over Leeds that should be enough to either reclaim fourth or at least go back up to fifth if the Hammers have dropped down.

At least it’s all more enjoyable than a relegation battle.

Explained: West Ham could make Champions League by finishing fifth but could also miss out if they come fourth