Slaven Bilic says West Ham are ready to finally banish the threat of relegation – while delivering a huge dent in Tottenham’s title hopes.
Spurs could go into the weekend just one point behind Premier League leaders Chelsea with victory at the London Stadium on Friday night.
But the Hammers still need a positive result to take themselves out of the equation at the foot of the table, and Bilic knows a win against their London rivals would be the perfect way to do it.
“This is a big match anyway,” said the West Ham boss. “It is a derby, whether you need the points or not, it’s a derby game against Spurs at our stadium.
“They need points, we need points, so it is a massive game for us and a massive game for them. We will try to get the points that will mathematically secure our status.
“You don’t need extra motivation when you play against Tottenham. Last season’s game at Upton Park, when we beat them 1-0, was one of the most electrifying atmospheres.
“It is a big game for us, a big game for the supporters, it is under the lights which is always a special one, and we are ready for it.”
West Ham are desperate to finally christen their new stadium with a major scalp, having taken some thrashings from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City this season.
But Bilic admits his side face a daunting task against the team he feels are playing the best football in the Premier League.
“I have nothing but praise for Chelsea, I have great respect for them to make the gap they have,” he added.
“Don’t get me wrong, Chelsea deserve to be on top, but Spurs are playing maybe the best football.
“Spurs have been in good form for the past couple of months and are playing good. But we have to be positive.
“We are four games unbeaten and have three cleans sheets as well. Our form has improved and we are positive and optimistic.”
Bilic will hand Andy Carroll a late fitness test on the groin problem which has sidelined him for the last two matches, while fellow striker Diafra Sakho will miss the rest of the season with a back injury.