View on the Opposition - Chelsea

West London Sport’s Yann Tear lifts the lid on Saturday’s opponents
West London Sport’s Yann Tear lifts the lid on Saturday’s opponents

Having been knocked out of two competitions in a week, how do you expect Chelsea to react this weekend?

“It’s kind of unchartered territory as Chelsea have got used to competing for titles and trophies at the stage of the season, but now, any chance of silverware is over. It’ll be interesting to see how the players react, you’d expect some sort of response, especially at home, in a London derby against West Ham.
“They are playing for pride, and for a lot of them, their futures with the impending reshuffle over the summer.”

Despite that, Chelsea’s league has been pretty good of late, will that give them confidence?

“It should do, and generally, Chelsea have fared pretty well over West Ham at Stamford Bridge in recent years. A lot will depend on the crowd come Saturday afternoon. There’s been a lot of flat atmospheres recently; the team certainly play better whenever the crowd get behind them.

“I have to say that Guus Hiddink has been brilliant since he’s come in. He’s a great organiser and the players are certainly working for him.”

Which Chelsea players have stood out this season?

“By their usual high expectations, it has been a disappointing season and last season’s stand outs haven’t materialised. Willian has been the standout and has scored some crucial goals.

“It’s also a shame not to see some of the younger players being given more of an opportunity. Reuben Loftus-Cheek has impressed whenever he has played and Kennedy, although is he very raw, certainly has huge amounts of talent.”

What is your prediction for Saturday’s score?

 “Under Hiddink, Chelsea have drawn a lot of games so I think that is the most likely outcome. Having said that, West Ham have been an absolute revelation under Bilic, so a draw might not be such a bad result. Whenever I’ve seen them, they have played really good football.”