Seven out but here’s the positive prediction

West-Ham-v-EvertonLet’s just stop for a moment and consider the fact that this afternoon the Irons will be without seven key players.

Now, despite the face we are playing a lowly Championship outfit, I wonder whether we would have been as upbeat had the same position existed last season.

I know it’s become a cliche but there rally is no other way of putting this: “Look at how far we have travelled since the end of last season.”

The bookies have us at around 5/4 for the win (which is value in my book) despite us being without Andy Carroll (adductor),  Enner Valencia (ankle), Diafra Sakho (thigh) , James Tomkins (calf) and Joey O’Brien (hamstring), Winston Reid (hammie) and Sam Byram cup-tied.

However, midfielder Manuel Lanzini is fit after a hamstring injury and is set to be on the bench.

Likely team: Randolph, Antonio, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Obiang,  Moses, Payet, Antonio.

That we approach the game in such a positive frame of mind is a most un-Hammers like but anything other than an away win is difficult to predict in my book.

And despite the lack of strikers I can see Payet, and Lanzini later causing all sorts of problem to the Rovers defence, who may find themselves conceding free kicks in very dangerous positions.

Hugh’s prediction 0-2



About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

9 comments on “Seven out but here’s the positive prediction

  1. Antonio has a twin brother which one is playing right back ?
    Put Oxford in at right back Hugh,
    And no CF again when will we learn we need a holding front player
    My team would have the new boy at CF Lanzini in it from the start Oxford at right back
    No Noble or Obiang
    But we could start with ten and make a game of it

  2. Same thought bubs, that Antonio guy is a real super player in two positions at once.

  3. Well, he (Antionio) is definitly fast enough lol…. I’m sure Hugh means Emenike up front, think we all can see that happening… I would however, like BUBS says, like to see Oxford at RB. Obiang out. Kouyate and Noble CM with Payet in front of them and Antionio and Moses playing wide – roaming back an forth…

    That being said I don’t know the Rovers team well, do we need lots of pace at RB maybe?

  4. Brings a whole new meaning to the concept of seeing double! Stick both Antonios on the right flank and hope no-one will notice, afterall, he does enough work for 2 players anyway….
    …Since when was Reece Oxford a right back? Since never, that’s when! Whilst Antonio has been a right back since…er…er…last week, yeah?…And made a superb, if naturally, clumsy job of it. Antonio is definitely becoming one of my favourite Hammers. No hissy fits, just graft and patience. The PERFECT team player….(of course, he won’t really have arrived until he gets a proper hard-core hate mob!…)

  5. But this surely is the season where CB are turned in to RB 😀

  6. Emineke will clearly be up front.

    It’s just a case of us Antonio at right back, or one of the kids, or he could even go Cresswell at Right Back, Ogbonna left back with Henry and Collins central.

    The obvious move given how well he didnis Antonio…but it’s not a dead certainty.

    More than anything today, looking forward to us getting Lanzini and Payet back on the pitch at the same time, and seeing genuinely what Emineke brings to the party.

  7. If I could play twice we would go Payet at number 10 Payet at number 8
    Lanzini at number 7 Lanzini at number 11
    Kouyate at number 9 Kouayte at number 4
    Moore at number 6 Bonds at number 5
    Bonds at number 2 Cresswellll at number 3
    Parked at number 1
    Pinch me

  8. I wish Antonio well in a unfamilar position but he does do his share in defending. I really hope we get our act togerther and come at them from the start not wait till the second half to play as we know we can

  9. I am with Bubs all day long on this, I am very disappointed to see this team selection, I would have played Oxford at RB, played Kouyate + 1 in midfield with Payet just in front. I am disappointed with Bilic again, he is showing the same stubbornness as BFS. I cant believe we have all these attacking players and he wont play them. Really disappointed but with Kouyate in the team and despite this negative approach I believe and we will win.

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