If selected, Victor Moses will play his 50th game of the season for club and country when we take on Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow, with the Nigerian expressing his delight at being so heavily involved during his first season at Stamford Bridge.
There is little doubt the game against Andre Villas-Boas’s side is our biggest of the season, with a victory virtually cementing qualification for next season’s Champions League due to our superior goal difference over the north London side.
Moses, who played 75 minutes of Sunday’s 1-0 win at Manchester United, is hopeful of another start, particularly in a game which means so much, and feels he is reaping the rewards from the effort he’s shown in training.
‘I wasn’t expecting to play as many games as I have this season, but I feel I’ve worked hard on the training ground and done well,’ he tells the official Chelsea website. ‘Because of the amount of games we’ve played, especially having joined the Europa League as well, that’s definitely helped me play more.
‘If I play tomorrow it will be my 50th game, which is a good achievement, and I just want to keep on helping the team as best as I can.
‘At this stage of the season there’s not any time to even think about tiredness, you just need to focus on getting yourself in the right shape for the next game. Every match is important for us at the moment and we need to make sure we keep winning in order to finish in the top three, which is our aim.
‘We want to be playing Champions League football next season, and we’ve also got the Europa League final to come, so if we can win that as well it will be a fantastic end to the season.’
It’s been a campaign of progression for Moses, who has made 24 starts for the Blues and featured from the bench on 14 occasions.
His move to Stamford Bridge from Wigan Athletic has provided the winger with a taste of European football, as well as the opportunity to work with some of the most talented players in the game on a daily basis.
This time a year ago he was playing a pivotal role as Wigan defied the odds and preserved their Premier League status thanks to a string of positive results as the season drew to a close.
Tomorrow’s game inevitably comes with its own demands, but the Nigerian will simply be going out to play his normal game.
‘In a way it’s a similar feeling, but of course there is a difference between fighting for a Champions League place and trying to avoid relegation,’ he explains.
‘At the moment we’re trying to achieve something and the way to do that is to work hard. They’re both pressurised situations but I will just look to enjoy myself out on the pitch if I’m selected.’
As if the rewards on offer for the winner of tomorrow’s game don’t add to the tension, the added sub-plots of the return of former Blues manager Villas-Boas and the visitors seeking a first win at Stamford Bridge since a last-gasp Gary Lineker header stole the points in 1990, make the encounter even more intriguing.
Both teams head into the game in good form, with the Blues unbeaten in the league since the 2-1 reverse at Southampton, while Tottenham’s last domestic defeat came at home to Fulham in March.
Moses is expecting a tough test, and with Tottenham needing a win believes the away side will look to attack from the outset.
‘It’s a massive game and the most important thing for us is to get the three points and secure our Champions League spot for next season,’ says the 22-year-old.
‘It won’t be an easy game; Tottenham will come right at us, but if we can get our noses in front, score a few goals and win the game we’ll be pleased.
‘Tottenham have been doing well this season and, in Gareth Bale, they have a player who’s in good form, so it’s important we stick together as a team.’
The Blues are looking for an eighth successive home win, and a victory that would inspire confidence throughout the group ahead of the final three games of the season.
Moses, though, is focusing solely on securing our passage back into the Champions League.
‘Every club wants to play in the Champions League and we’re no different,’ he explains. ‘Chelsea have been playing in the competition for a number of years so to qualify would mean a lot to us.
‘When you play in the Champions League you have the opportunity to test yourself against the best players in the world, so we want to make sure that’s where we are.’