West Ham travel to Stamford Bridge this weekend to face off against Chelsea in a London derby in the Premier League, with the fight for places in European competitions next season still very much on for both.
With a little under a month to go until the final day of the season arrives, every point from now until then could be crucial when it comes to deciding how the final table will look at full time on Sunday 22nd May.
For Chelsea, they are in a relatively secure position when looking to get UEFA Champions League football next year, currently sitting five points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, as well as having a game in hand on the Gunners.
That said, it was those very same Gunners who the Blues fell to a 4-2 defeat against on Wednesday night, showing how nothing can quite be certain in this league - meaning they'll come into this game more than a little wary.
From a West Ham perspective, it seems unlikely that they'll be able to get Champions League football, but they remain in the hunt for the UEFA Europa League places, alongside Manchester United of all teams.
On top of that, the Hammers are still in the aforementioned second tier of European football, readying themselves for a Europa League semi final, the first leg of which takes place next Thursday against Eintracht Frankfurt.
It's a big blow for the Blues to be without German centre back Antonio Rudiger for a second game in a row, especially considering how vulnerable the Chelsea defence appeared to be against Arsenal, so Tuchel will have to figure out a replacement for him on Sunday.
Meanwhile, while it was a little more expected that Mateo Kovacic wouldn't be fit enough to return yet, the midfielder will again be missed, although with the depth of quality in that position with the likes of N'Golo Kante and Jorginho, it shouldn't be too big of a problem.
Meanwhile, David Moyes said to the media: 'I don't put timescales on injuries but what I will say is that Issa [Diop] has an injury and Kurt [Zouma] has an injury. It's really important that we can get them back and hopefully we do so as soon as we possibly can.'
Moyes, like his counterpart in the Chelsea dugout, also has a few injuries to contend with when considering his starting eleven, and the Scot will have to figure out how to set up his defence with two key centre backs out in the form of Issa Diop and Kurt Zouma.
Add to those two more recent injuries the longer term absence of another defender in the form of Angelo Ogbonna, who has been out since last November, and it's clear the Hammers may have something of a makeshift defence in action this weekend.
Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Chalobah; James, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso; Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic
West Ham (4-2-3-1):
Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Cresswell, Masuaku; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio
The Blues come into this game in slightly odd form, in that, over the past few weeks, they have won against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (though did go out on aggregate), as well as progressed to the FA Cup Final.
The boss gives his thoughts on #CheArs. 💬— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 21, 2022
And yet, within that same timeframe, they have also suffered home defeats to Brentford (4-1), Real Madrid (3-1) and most recently Arsenal (4-2) - meaning their form at Stamford Bridge may be open to exploitation this Sunday.
As for the visitors, they too have been relatively inconsistent with their results, though with the huge 3-0 win away at Lyon a little over a week ago, they will certainly have a spring in their step still from the confidence gained there.
𝗕𝗲𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗰𝗲𝗻𝗲𝘀: Lyon 0-3 West Ham United— West Ham United (@WestHam) April 20, 2022
From when the team arrived in Lyon until they departed the Groupama Stadium as #UEL semi-finalists.
A chance to relive our historic quarter-final win from behind the scenes 👇
In terms of the league however, Moyes' side haven't won since 3rd April - a 2-1 win over Everton - and perhaps more astonishingly haven't won away from home in the league since New Year's Day, when they defeated Crystal Palace 3-2.
Ones To Watch
As mentioned, it's been something of a topsy-turvy few weeks for the team from West London, especially when taking into account the ongoing ownership saga, as well as the sanctions still currently in place.
One player who hasn't let that affect him though is Mason Mount, who has gone from strength to strength, netting in three successive games against Madrid, Southampton and then Palace at Wembley Stadium last weekend.
The Englishman now has a hugely impressive 27 goals and assists during this campaign, making him the highest goal contributor among his teammates, as well as the second-highest scorer, showing why he is certainly one to watch.
Meanwhile for the Hammers, there certainly hasn't been a shortage of top class performances especially in the latter half of this year's season with the incredible Europa League run producing many moments of magic.
But the one player who has stood out above the rest in terms of individual performances has been none other than Jarrod Bowen, with the 25-year-old netting on 15 occasions so far this season, even having been out with an injury too.
Not only that, but the winger has helped out his teammates too, tallying 11 assists in total, meaning the calls for him to be called up to the England squad by Gareth Southgate are only multiplying and seem an inevitability.
Previous Five Meetings
This fixture is a much-storied one, with plenty of classic encounters over the year in what has often been a feisty London derby, but here we'll run through the most recent five meetings between these two teams.
Taking it back to November 2019, and West Ham, like they will this weekend, travelled across the capital to face then-Frank Lampard's Blues, having not won at Stamford Bridge since September 2002 prior to this game.
Evidently, that statistic provided a strong enough incentive for the away team, as Aaron Cresswell's strike in the 48th minute meant they left with all three points in the end, much to the home fans' frustrations.
Next up was a strange post-lockdown face-off, in July 2020, with supporters and players alike still getting used to the odd sensation of playing in front of tarpaulin-covered seats rather than thousands of people.
This one was a particularly exciting game, as it flipped back from one side to the other, before Andriy Yarmolenko snatched a late winner in the 89th minute to win the game 3-2 and complete West Ham's league double over Chelsea that season.
It wasn't until four days before Christmas later that year that these two met again, and after two Hammers' wins in a row it is probably no surprise that this one ended with a Chelsea victory, and a convincing one at that.
Thiago Silva gave the hosts the lead relatively early on, and a quick fire Tammy Abraham brace within the space of a couple of minutes secured the win on a cold Monday evening in West London for Lampard' team.
There was a new face in the dugout the next time this fixture was played, with Thomas Tuchel having arrived a little earlier in the campaign and galvanised his Chelsea team as they went on a momentous run in the Champions League.
This game, late on in the league season, was a relatively tight one, without too many huge chances, but it was Timo Werner's goal moments before half time that meant Tuchel's team left with the three points.
Finally, we come to the current 2021/22 campaign, and the reverse fixture to the upcoming clash, which once again saw a thrilling 3-2 home win for West Ham in front of a packed London Stadium in December 2021.
Chelsea went in front twice, but both times failed to hold onto the lead effectively enough, and so it was Arthur Masuaku's freak effort from the left-hand side which duped Edouard Mendy and sent Hammers' fans into raptures three minutes from time.
How To Watch
Anyone wishing to watch this game live on TV from the United Kingdom is in luck, with it being picked for broadcast by Sky Sports ahead of two other Premier League fixtures with the same kick off time.
The pre-match coverage is scheduled to start from 1:00 PM BST, while the game itself will get underway an hour after that at 2:00 PM BST, with coverage also set to come right after the game here on VAVEL.