The West Ham United fans are feeling apprehensive in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their huge clash against Burnley this afternoon.
David Moyes has steered The Hammers in the right direction since he arrived at the club back in November despite the huge level of backlash the club received in response to his appointment. However, the club are still 10 points adrift of the safe-haven that the 40-point mark represents, so it is imperative that the club take advantage of their less-daunting looking fixtures in the final weeks of the season.
Although Burnley have exceeded all expectation to rise into 7th place this season, it’s fair to say that West Ham’s clash with The Clarets represents one of the more winnable of their remaining fixtures, and that’s no disrespect to Sean Dyche’s side. West Ham still have Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal all to play from their remaining 9 fixtures – a fact which exemplifies the importance of their clash against Burnley today.
Moyes’ side were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Swansea City last time out at the Liberty Stadium in a huge six-pointer clash for the club. The aforementioned result has intensified the importance of today’s clash with Burnley, as another defeat could leave the club dangerously close to the relegation zone. Michail Antonio (valued at £16.2 million by Transfermarkt) came off the substitutes bench against The Swans to notch a consolation goal for the club for the second match running, and his goal-scoring impact suggests he should be boosted to the starting eleven today.
One player who could make way for Antonio is Javier Hernandez, as his impact from the substitutes bench could prove to be a valuable weapon for Moyes to exploit in the last half-hour of proceedings. The Mexican international – who is affectionately known as ‘little pea’ by supporters – could struggle for opportunities against a stubborn Burnley defence during the early stages of the match, but that could all change during the dying embers of the game.
Antonio deserves to be included from the outset against Burnley due to the quality of his cameo appearances against Swansea and Liverpool in recent weeks, and although it could prove to be an unpopular decision, Moyes should drop Hernandez in order to accommodate the in-form Antonio tomorrow afternoon.