We’re now breathing the rare air of a Champions League spot in fourth place and find ourselves hosting a team actually above us in the standings this week.
How often do we get to say that and be surprised about it? It’s quite a nice feeling for a change, isn’t it?
However, it is powerful second-place Manchester City, a team that usually blows our doors off. But this is a different Hammers squad, full of confidence, two impressive victories in a row, wind in its sails and no reason to doubt itself.
City did struggle midweek in their Champions League tie to get a point in that weird match in the near-empty stadium at CSKA Moscow. So what should we do to get a result first thing Saturday at home? We should just keep playing our game, that’s what. If we stick nine or even 10 men behind the ball and cower before last season’s Premier League champions, we’ll merely be inviting a rollicking.
It’s likely City will have most of the ball, at least 55 per cent. That’s to be expected. On the other hand, our midfield has been in great form all season, and our attack force of Sakho and Valencia can strike fear in the hearts of any defence even one led by the likes of Vincent Kompany.
We can rely on Adrian in goal, our defenders have been good as gold this season, our midfielders have helped in defence and created beautifully in attack and we have finishers who can find the net.
We have a chance to have a special season.
We have already knocked off the runners-up in blasting Liverpool at home, now we have a chance to dump City. It would be wonderful to pull off the double and set ourselves up for a great run of eight matches after that until Christmas – away to Stoke, home to Villa, away to Everton, home Newcastle, home to Swansea, away to Sunderland and home to Leicester. A nice run of matches with plenty of points for us to bag before the calendar changes to the new year.
It all starts tomorrow morning and what a wonderful start it would be to send City back to Manchester with nothing.