For fans of West Ham, this season has been everything but easy to cope with. The Hammers are involved in a fierce battle, needing several points to claw back toward the safer ground in the standings and avoid the dreaded fate of relegation.
For many reasons, this is easier said than done. Staying in the top flight of English football is always important from a sheerly psychological perspective, and a club of West Ham’s caliber and pedigree belongs in the Premier League.
However, the relegation battle is intense, with just five points separating the bottom six teams fighting to avoid the final relegation spot. If you’re looking to bet on any of the season’s final games, The Punters Page explains the best odds for each match across several different sportsbooks.
Continue reading to learn some of the most important factors that West Ham needs to do to be able to stay in the Premier League.
Avoiding injuries and suspensions
The players and manager David Moyes are well aware of what’s at stake. One of the key aspects for West Ham to be able to stay in the Premier League is avoiding both injuries and suspensions. Fielding a full squad and having options is key to being able to squeeze as many points out of the last games as possible. With an upcoming match against league-leading Arsenal, West Ham hope to earn some points against the odds, but more importantly, finish the match with a healthy squad.
Winning against other relegation candidates
This might seem somewhat obvious, but the upcoming games against relegation candidates such as Southampton, Bournemouth and Leicester City. Being able to pull off an upset or a draw against some of the stronger teams might prove important, but the fact that West Ham can improve their position while also making life more difficult for other direct contenders is going to matter more in the grand scheme of things.
The final match against Leicester City also has the potential to be a high-stakes affair. Depending on how the rest of the season plays out leading up to the final game, which is played away against the Foxes, those last three points might be a direct decider on what team gets to pack their bags and spend next season in the Championship, English football’s second tier. Hopefully, for the Hammers and their fans, it doesn’t come to that.
Conserving energy in the conference league
“Tanking” matches is something that is frowned upon in all sports and for good reason. Even if the upcoming games against Gent in the conference league offer fun and exciting games for the fans, going all-out in these matches might not be advisable.
Instead of fielding the best squad, it might be better to perform some rotations and let the most important pieces of the team rest. That being said, advancing far in the conference league might give some solace to fans after this overwhelmingly disappointing season, but it’s not worth going all out for. Gent is a team that can shine with good play on occasion, but on paper shouldn’t be a problem for the Hammers.
Although it’s been a tough season for West Ham, they are still in decent shape to finish the season strong and avoid relegation. Then, fans and players alike can look forward to the prospect of a more successful season come next year.
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