Premier League

West Ham will wrap up survival mission if £16.2m-rated star turns up against Swansea today

The West Ham fans are feeling nervous in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their biggest fixture of the season so far against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

Almost anybody involved will tell you that the next game is always the biggest, and in West Ham’s case that notion couldn’t be any less accurate. David Moyes takes his side to Wales this afternoon to face Swansea in a classic relegation six-pointer clash which could prove to be a decisive fixture in the context of both side’s bid to beat the drop.

West Ham were comfortably beaten by a rampant Liverpool side at Anfield last weekend by 4 goals to 1, but that should not damage the confidence of The Hammers going into their clash with Swansea today. Swansea have been resurgent under the leadership of Carlos Carvahal since he took charge at the end of December, as he has taken 14 points from a potential 24 in the league and lead the club into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

The Hammers will certainly have their work cut out trying to take three points away from the match, but if Marko Arnautovic (valued at £16.2 million by Transfermarkt) continues his excellent run of form in recent weeks, then West Ham should be able to take a giant step towards ensuring their survival this season. A victory today would take the clubs tally to the season to 33 – only 7 points short of the 40 point mark which is widely considered to guarantee survival in the English top-flight.

Although they would still be a couple of victories short of ensuring their survival, a victory today would do wonders for the clubs confidence going into a challenging looking set of fixtures to conclude the season. The Austrian international will undoubtedly be key to West Ham’s success, as his creativity and willingness to take risks in the final-third have been a key component in the clubs improvement since Moyes took charge in November last year.

Swansea’s defensive record has improved since Carvahal’s arrival, but their 4-1 defeat against Brighton last weekend proved there are still plenty of weaknesses for Arnautovic to exploit in The Swans defensive unit. The Swansea players will be in for a torrid 90 minutes if Arnautovic brings his A-game to the Liberty Stadium this afternoon, so the Irons faithful will be dearly hoping he can produce the goods and fire West Ham to a season-defining victory.


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