It’s the Happy Hammers turn to attempt to ‘come away with a point from a tricky fixture with unbeaten Tottenham’ this weekend as they visit us at 5.30pm on Saturday for what will most likely be their last ever WHL Cup Final.
The prefix ‘Happy’ has rarely been as ill-fitting as it has been thus far this season. West Ham have 11 points from 11 games and lie 17th. They began the season unwilling to defend and unable to score goals. Whilst the state of the former has improved, they’re still struggling with the latter. I believe I’m right in saying that in their seventeen games in all competitions this season no strikers have scored. Yikes. And we thought we had problems up front.
The good news for them is that apparently Diafra Sakho is available after injury. Many of West Ham’s best performances last season were when he was in the side making a nuisance of himself. He’ll most likely start at the weekend, probably with Andre Ayew featuring too, someone else who has been notable by his absence in claret and blue thus far – he’s made only four appearances. Reid and Collins are also likely to play despite having injury scares. Carroll, Tore and Masuaku are still out however.
Mark Noble is suspended. Shame.
The danger from them mostly comes through the Payet & Cresswell combination down their left, though Antonio and Lanzini also carry a threat.
Mixed messages are emerging from our physio room with regards to our bunch of crocks with knocks. There appear to be no promises that any of Alli, Alderweireld or Lamela are definitely back and Dembele and Eriksen picked up bangs whilst away during the week. Sissoko is available after suspension though. Yippee!!
Who’d have thought a couple of weeks ago that Kane would now be our fittest player?
The run of draws gives the impression that it’s stodge that we’re being served up though that’s a tad misleading given that we created enough chances against the forces of Darkness and Leicester to win each game. Having said though, what we’d give for a light hearted comfortable victory, especially with a rerun of the Battle of Stamford Bridge due next weekend.
Any good result is unlikely to be straightforward however. Bilic won the last tactical encounter against Pochettino, mostly by switching to three at the back and crowding out our midfield, it’ll be interesting to see if he does it again. Which of course leads to the question as to what formation Poch decides is best suited to us this weekend given the success that the changes at the back had last time out. Your guess is as good as mine.
Mike Dean is the referee meaning that he’s the man both Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose are going to have to be careful in avoiding catching the eye of as both are on four yellows. Should they both get booked we could face a scenario, given that Davies is knacked, where our three first choice left backs are unavailable at Chelsea. Yikes.
As ever, Harry Kane is the key. We can expect plenty of possession and we should create opportunities. It’s whether we take them or not that is crucial, that’s why the pressure is on One of Our Own.
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