Juan Mata is looking forward to playing his part in West Ham’s farewell to Upton Park – a place the Manchester United man says ‘breathes English football’.
Louis van Gaal takes his United side to face the Hammers on Tuesday night in what will be the last-ever official game at Upton Park before their summer relocation into the Olympic Stadium.
While it will be an emotional night for all those involved with West Ham, United go there knowing victories in their final two league games will guarantee them a place in the Barclays Premier League top four and a Champions League spot.
Last month, United won the last-ever FA Cup match to be played at Upton Park, with a 2-1 sixth-round replay win setting them up for a semi-final victory over Everton.
But this time the emotions will run even higher, and Mata – who scored the only goal in Saturday’s gritty win at lowly Norwich – knows it will be no ordinary night in east London.
“It’s going to be special,” he wrote in his weekly blog.
“The last official game at the Boleyn Ground, where West Ham has been playing for 112 years. With that image of Bobby Moore, it’s a place that breathes English football… it will be an honour to be there and try to get the last win.
“West Ham has been a tough opponent this season. We know them well because we’ve played against them in the FA Cup too. They are in the seventh position by a combination of effort and talent, not by chance.
“It (the win at Norwich) was a very important win to keep us in the fight for the Champions League, even more after the draw between (Manchester) City and Arsenal.”