The West Ham United supporters are feeling incredibly nervous ahead of their biggest fixture of the season so far against Southampton at The London Stadium.
David Moyes welcomes Mark Hughes – a fellow Premier League veteran – to The London Stadium tomorrow afternoon for a fixture which could determine the outcome of the relegation battle this season. The tensions are rising at West Ham away from the pitch due to the supporters frustration with the clubs ownership, but the players must put those issues to one side tomorrow and focus on recording a priceless victory against their fellow relegation-rivals.
A few weeks ago it was beginning to look like The Hammers had secured their survival this season, but their current predicament goes to prove that plenty can change in a very short space of time. As things stand, West Ham are just 2 points clear of their 18th placed opponents today, so a defeat would see them plummet into the relegation zone for the first time since early January.
Considering the quality of West Ham’s squad, Moyes simply cannot let that happen, so he must find a way to enable Marko Arnautovic (valued at £16.2 million by Transfermarkt) to rediscover his brilliant best form against The Saints tomorrow. Arnautovic played an instrumental role in enabling West Ham to climb out of the relegation zone earlier in the season, but in recent weeks he hasn’t been able to inspire his side to victory.
The Austrian international has been playing well and remains a focal point of West Ham’s attacking play, but his performances haven’t produced positive results for the club of late. He has now gone 3 league matches without scoring, which is his longest dry spell since before he opened his account for the club against Chelsea in early December, and tomorrow’s fixture represents the ideal opportunity for him to end his goalless run.
On his day, Arnautovic is the club’s most devastating attacking player by some distance, as his combination of pace, strength and dribbling is a weapon which few defenders are capable of dealing with. If West Ham are to record a vital season-defining victory today, they will need Arnautovic to bring his A-game to the London Stadium and end his goal-scoring drought, otherwise they will be in danger of slipping back into the relegation zone.
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