Chelsea can close the gap to eight points with a win tomorrow but with just six games then left to play, Antonio Conte knows they can't afford to slip-up if they're to stand any chance of catching Spurs.
"We have to try to do everything to continue to have the possibility to fight for a place in the Champions League", he said. He has great pace, great strength and we will miss him until the end of the season.
Personally, I believe one can make a case to advocate that giving at least one of those players a chance per game should most certainly be doable without risking our remaining chances of grabbing one of those Champions League spots, however unlikely that may seem. The Blues are still mathematically in the race for a top-four finish but are slowly running out of games.
West Ham have already beaten Chelsea this season though, winning the reverse fixture 1-0 in December and handing David Moyes his first victory as Hammers boss. I've seen Chelsea quite a lot and they're a really good team with some excellent players.
"Hopefully it won't take as much as that, but to get to 40 is a long way to go for the teams below us".
West Ham should go into the game feeling confident, as they have bested Chelsea in three of their last six meetings, drawing one and only losing twice.
"It gave us all a boost to win last weekend".
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Former Arsenal star Merson is backing Chelsea FC to beat West Ham in the London derby at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Belgian has been missing with a hamstring injury, with the Spain forward absent due to an unspecified knock, but the pair are in contention to return against the Hammers.
West Ham were surprise 3-0 winners against Mark Hughes' Southampton side at the London Stadium last weekend to give them renewed hope of beating the drop under David Moyes. Moyes confirmed Manuel Lanzini, who missed the game with the Saints, may feature.
Recent Premier League victories at home against a struggling Crystal Palace team (2-1) and a terrible West Brom side (3-0) are hardly great endorsements for The Blues and having scraped past Leicester in the FA Cup three weeks ago, there wasn't much encouragement to be taken by their first defeat to Spurs at home since 1990 last week either.
Chelsea will be looking to put their recent woes behind them with all three points at home to West Ham on Sunday.
It's a big game but I do fancy Chelsea.
West Ham were dragged back into the thick of the relegation battle after a string of woeful performances and results.