With only two (for some clubs three) games until the Premier league season 2015/16 end many questions remain wide open, and the one of those, is on what place will West Ham United end after such a great season.
May 7, 2016 • 15:00 • Boleyn Ground, London
Referee: M. Oliver
West Ham at their stadium Boleyn Ground does not have a defeat since August and if the Hammers manage to beat Swansea City this Saturday, practically will seal the Europa place. The Welsh side is coming to East London without several key players, and Slaven Bilic’s men with smart approach could take an easy three points.
While situation for the Swans who have played 36 games is clear and they will end up in the middle of the table, the same can’t be said for West Ham who played 35 games so far. Hammers currently sit on the 6th place, one below Manchester United who played 35 games as well and has a one point more. On the fourth place, the last one which leads into the Champions league next season, is Manchester City with 64 points, five more than the Hammers, but the Citizens have played 36 games.
All this means that theoretically West Ham United still can grab that fourth place and book the Champions league place for next season. Speaking of on qualifying for Europe West Ham Utd boss Slaven Bilic said:
“We set our goals quite high and we are really happy and grateful that with three games to go we are in competition for a European place, whether you’re talking about top four which is quite hard, but possible, or top six, where we are, but we have to be on top of our game in all of these three games no matter what we are talking about, top four or top six finish.”
Now we must think only of Swansea. It is not about Manchester United and last game at Upton Park ever, not of Stoke, only Swansea, Swansea, Swansea – said Slaven Bilic who wants from his players to maintain maximum awake, to avoid any chance or to underestimated guests from Wales.
Slaven Bilic for this game can’t count on the first goalkeeper Adrian who’s place will take Darren Randolph who played in the FA Cup competition where the Hammers reached the played quarter-finals and eventually were knocked by Manchester United.
In Last three seasons West Ham in their stadium in the Premier league celebrated over Swansea and has only one defeat in the last seven mutual encounters with the Swans. According to 888sport football odds situation here is clear, the Hammers are big favourites to take all three points and to make the European place hunt much more interesting right until the end of season.
Swansea City in the last round ended the streak of two defeats by beating Liverpool 3:1, but the Reds were played with somewhat mixed team and in mind on the Europa league game with Villarreal against who Jurgen Klopp’s men booked the final place and the match with the holders, Sevilla FC.
On the road, the Swans are not at their best. In the last four away games Francesco Guidolin’s men have won only one point and the problem is that his team can’t go much up or down, and their thoughts are already on “summer vacation”. Some, like the captain Ashley Williams have already been approved to be prepared for a performance at the upcoming European Championship in France.
If Swansea find the real motive for the “fight”, then Guidolin’s men maybe could compete with West Ham, but probably with somewhat more closed tactics and orientation on the counter-attack. Anyway guests, unlike the Hammers don’t have score imperative in this match, so a chance will get and some players, who so far had a modest playing time, or at least they are fresh and rested.
– And against Liverpool with great game we showed that our season is not over yet, and now we play with two great clubs West Ham and Manchester City, and we want to show that we don’t have only 11 players, and that those who have been waiting for the opportunity can respond on the same way – said Francesco Guidolin, who because of injuries can’t count on important four players as the full-back Neil Taylor, midfielders Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jefferson Montero and the striker Alberto Paloschi, who did not play against Liverpool. Sigurdsson with 11 goals is the top scorer for the Swans.
– West Ham is a great team that is fighting for the Champions League and a hard game expects us in London, but the pressure is on the host, and we will try to use that – hopes Guidolin. Swansea in 18 away appearances in the championship has only three wins, only one less than Aston Villa and Newcastle.