Antonio strikes again as Hammers deal blow to West Brom survival bid

Antonio, who scored the only goal of the game against Burnley at the weekend, struck again as the Hammers climbed to seventh following a 2-1 win.

The controversy started however before a ball was kicked with the omission of Robert Snodgrass from the West Brom squad. The Scot had impressed in the Baggies 3-2 victory over Wolves at the weekend but was left a spectator because of an agreement between his new employers and the Hammers with the Premier League now reportedly “looking into” the matter.

The story on the pitch was better for West Ham who had plenty of the ball in the first half but struggled to breakdown Allardyce’s defensive line.

Craig Dawson perhaps should have opened the scoring against his former side but planted a free header wide at the far post from a corner and just when the first half was meandering towards a goalless conclusion, Vladimir Coufal burst into the area from the right.

The Czech full-back drilled in a cross which Bowen, with little time to react, managed to divert in with his chest from four yards out.

Early in the second half Lukasz Fabianski kept out Conor Gallagher’s angled shot, but moments later the Poland keeper was beaten. West Ham’s defence backed off Pereira as he reached the edge of the box and the Brazilian winger made them pay with a low shot which arrowed into the bottom corner drawing the game level – despite calls from the West Ham defence that Gallagher was interfering with play in an offside position.

West Ham continued to press for the winner and it arrived on the 65th minute when Aaron Cresswell’s cross found the head of substitute Andriy Yarmolenko. His header back into the danger zone was heading behind Antonio but he twisted his body well to hook the ball in from six yards out.

The Baggies rallied late on with a series of freekicks pumped high into the West Ham area but they came to nothing and West Ham win their first four fixtures in a calendar year for the first time since 1958 whilst West Brom remain 5 points from safety in the Premier League.

West Ham United 2 – 1 West Bromich Albion.

Premier League: West Ham v West Brom

Both sides are off the back of Premier League wins, but it can be argued that West Brom’s 2-3 victory over fierce rivals Wolves at the weekend was of greater importance.

The back-and-forth contest at Molineux swung in Albion’s favour as Big Sam secured his first win as Baggies boss, gaining Black Country bragging rights in the process.

The result wasn’t enough to lift West Brom out of the relegation zone, with the Baggies still 5 points from safety – it was, however, a much needed confidence booster.

Meanwhile, West Ham also got the job done in their last Premier League encounter with a narrow 1-0 victory over Burnley at the London Stadium.

The Hammers lack of a striker is a cause for concern, with Michail Antonio the only fit centre forward in David Moyes’ ranks after the sale of Sebastien Haller to Ajax earlier this month.

West Ham didn’t appear to struggle to create chances against Burnley but finishing them off did seem to be a bit of an Achilles heel.

A win for the Hammers will take them up to 7th place – leapfrogging Chelsea in the standings who play Leicester later on Tuesday night – whilst going level with 6th placed Everton.

3 points for West Ham will need to be secured without the defensive services of Fabian Balbuena, who is self-isolating after coming in to close contact with an individual who has tested positive for coronavirus, whilst fellow defender Arthur Masuaku remains a long-term injury absentee.

Aside from that David Moyes has a relatively clean bill of health.

Sam Allardyce does have fitness issues at West Brom meanwhile, where impressive goalkeeper Sam Johnstone will be absent due to contracting Covid-19, as will teammate Matt Phillips who has also tested positive for the virus.

Midfielder Conor Gallagher is available again for the Baggies after serving his suspension last time out against Wolves.

Grady Diangana is rated touch-and-go to feature against his former employers as he continues to recover from a muscle strain which kept him out of the Black Country derby.

West Ham v West Brom is a 6pm kick off on Tuesday, 19th January.

West Ham face tough talks over Sevilla striker

After the departure of £45m signing Sebastien Haller to Ajax earlier this month, the injury prone Michail Antonio is left as the Hammers only recognised first team striker.

As such, West Ham have made the capture of a replacement for Haller a top priority in the remaining two weeks of the transfer window.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein has suggested that Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri, who has scored 12 times in 25 games so far this season, is a target for David Moyes.

Ornstein claims that West Ham have been putting together a €30m package to bring the Morocco international to the London Stadium, but according to local Seville newspaper Estadio Deportivo, the La Liga side are after a much more substantial fee than the one the Hammers have been readying.

As picked up by website Sport Witness, the article translated in to English claims that West Ham would need to go ‘significantly higher’ in order to secure El-Nesyri’s services.

Furthermore, Sevilla are keen to have a replacement sorted before sanctioning any possible move to London.

With 12 days to go until the transfer window closes, this deal is currently looking quite unlikely – but as we saw two summers ago with recently-departed Seb Haller, West Ham haven’t been afraid to spend good money on forward players in recent times.

Michail Antonio edges West Ham to crucial 1-0 Burnley win

In a game of sporadic chances at both ends it was fans favourite Michail Antonio’s early strike that made the key difference.

The Hammers looked positive in the opening minutes in East London and Antonio seized his opportunity to put them ahead on nine minutes.

Pablo Fornals’ whipped cross deceived Clarets defender James Tarkowski and Antonio kept his cool to fire past Nick Pope.

Moyes’ hosts could and should have extended their lead just before the break but Angelo Ogbonna’s header clattered back off the post.

West Ham continued to edge things after the restart with Jarrod Bowen flashing an effort just wide and Declan Rice testing Pope.

But despite dominating the majority of the game, West Ham’s inability to find a second goal almost came back to bite them as Dwight McNeil and Jay Rodriguez both wasted half chances but the Hammers had just enough to hold on.

Full Time from the London Stadium it’s West Ham 1 Burnley 0

Premier League: West Ham v Burnley

This campaign has been a far cry from last season’s endeavours for the Hammers, with the club certainly looking up rather than over their shoulders after narrowly avoiding the drop in 2019/20.

David Moyes has got a much sweeter tune out of West Ham this time around and he will be looking to steer his 10th placed side closer to the European spots with a favourable result against Burnley.

Although unbeaten in three in the league, two of those games have resulted in draws and a win will be most welcome for the East London club who got a valuable three points against close contenders Everton last time out.

Visitors Burnley meanwhile were on the receiving end of a 0-1 home defeat to Manchester United midweek, a result which sent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side top of the Premier League.

However, despite the defeat, there were again signs of a much improved team display from Sean Dyche’s side relative to some of their early-season showings.

The recent upturn in form has seen the Clarets elevate themselves out of the Premier League relegation places for the time being, currently hovering above the drop in 16th position.

No doubt Burnley will be eyeing up this encounter as a great opportunity considering they did the double over West Ham last season and have come out on top in the last three games between the sides.

Three points at the London Stadium will move the Clarets level on points with an abject Newcastle United side who at present look all at sea.

Any such result against the Hammers though may have to be secured without Charlie Taylor – the left-back is rated touch-and-go to feature due to a hamstring complaint.

Dwight McNeil may be called upon again after featuring against Manchester United – his recovery means that there are very few injury concerns for Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

West Ham aren’t as fortunate when it comes to fitness, however, with defenders Arthur Masuaku and Fabian Balbuena both doubts to feature against the Clarets.

Issa Diop is also rated 50-50 and is likely to go through a late fitness test before Moyes makes a decision on his inclusion.

Ryan Fredericks has been battling coronavirus and isn’t expected to be involved, while Lukasz Fabianski may return from a thigh injury which has kept him out for a fortnight.

Michail Antonio is back to fitness which is a boost, although there is pressure to keep the forward fit considering West Ham look threadbare in that region following Sebastien Haller’s departure to Ajax earlier this week.

West Ham United v Burnley is a 3pm kick off on Saturday 16th January.

Premier League Preview: Everton v West Ham

While fans will have to watch the game from their homes they’ll be hoping the extra rest caused by the postponement of Monday’s game with Manchester City will help them make a flying start to the new year.

Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed he will welcome back Richarlison to the side but James Rodriguez will not feature due to his calf injury.

Meanwhile West Ham’s David Moyes will be hoping his Hammers side can put an end to their 4 match winless run. A 0-0 draw last time out against Southampton provided the Hammers with some positives and with Michail Antonio now back from injury, the Moyes will be looking for more goals.

It’s the first of 2 games on Friday, this one kicks off at 5.30.

Southampton and West Ham battle 0-0 Premier League draw

Both sides created chances to win it, but with no real cutting edge at either end, a draw will go down as fair.

With the game bogged down in midfield in the first 45 minutes, Ryan Fredericks’ header went down as the game’s first meaningful chance.

With Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl missing from the touchline, the hosts were unable to really get themselves going after the break, it was West Ham that created the better chances to win it.

In form Tomas Soucek proved again what a handful he can be as the Czech star brought a diving stop from Alex McCarthy.

But just as the game looked to drifting off towards a complete, Said Benrahma was presented with a golden opportunity inside the box, but McCarthy spread himself to preserve his clean sheet.

Full Time at the St.Mary’s Stadium it’s Southampton 0 West Ham 0

West Ham fight back to secure 2-2 draw with Brighton

Neither side covered themselves in defensive glory in the capital as errors at both ends led to an exciting climax.

It was the visitors that dominated the first 45 minutes, with Danny Welbeck lashing an effort past the post, before Neil Maupay edged them in front before the break.

Dan Burn’s low cross caused problems in the Hammers box and Maupay stay alert to fire past Lukasz Fabianksi.

David Moyes threw on Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini after the break and the pair combined superbly to set up Ben Johnson’s first ever senior goal for the club.

Yarmolenko’s clever ball released Lanzini inside the area and his cutback was cushioned home by Johnson.

But despite growing into the ascendency in the final 20, West Ham shot themselves in the foot, as Lewis Dunk hauled Brighton back in front.

Solly March’s whipped cross caught the Hammers defence fast asleep from a corner and Dunk wriggled free to blast home.

But in the spirit of the season Potter’s team returned the favour to Moyes with another defensive clanger as Tomas Soucek powered home for a point.

Full Time at the London Stadium it’s West Ham 2 Brighton 2

Premier League Preview: West Ham United v Brighton

The Hammers have seen their form tail off in December with David Moyes winning just once this month.

But despite that indifferent run of results, Moyes is like to keep faith with the bulk of his stars against the Seagulls with Said Benrahma the only likely change.

As for Brighton, Graham Potter’s team have slipped down to the brink of the drop zone of late and the visitors are in desperate need of a result here.

Goals have been the real issue for Potter over the last run of matches, and he could bring Danny Welbeck in from the start.

But it’s bad news for flying full back Tariq Lamptey who misses with a thigh problem.

And Kick Off in this one is at 2.15pm on December 27th at the London Stadium.

Premier League Preview: Chelsea v West Ham

Back to back defeats against Everton and Wolves has dented the Blues confidence ahead of this one and the former England star is certain to make changes.

Hakim Ziyech misses out through injury, but Mateo Kovacic and Billy Gilmour could both potentially return as Lampard looks to stiffen up his midfield unit.

Hammers boss David Moyes has stuck with a consistent line up in recent weeks with his team picking up an eye catching four wins in their last six matches.

The Scottish coach has confirmed he’ll wait on some late fitness checks before naming his side, with Aaron Cresswell and Fabian Balbuena both struggling with knocks.

Ryan Fredericks and Issa Diop are on stand by to step in if needed, but there is positive news on Jarrod Bowen, with the flying winger passed fit to start.

And kick off in this Tier 4 clash is set for 8pm tomorrow night at Stamford Bridge.

Haller screamer earns West Ham 1-1 draw with in-form Crystal Palace

The £45million striker, in danger of being labelled a costly flop after a string of underwhelming displays, netted with a stunning overhead kick to cancel out Christian Benteke’s opener.

Benteke went from hero to zero after the break when sent off for catching Tomas Soucek with his trailing arm as they went up for a header, but 10-man Palace held out for a point.

It was probably no more than they deserved after a dominant first-half display.

Eberechi Eze caught the eye for Palace in the opening stages, the £16million youngster signed from QPR playing a neat one-two with Wilfried Zaha only for his low cross to fizz straight across goal.

Moments later, Joel Ward crossed from the right but Benteke could not get enough on his header from four yards out and the ball bounced wide.

Nevertheless, West Ham had been warned, although they almost made the breakthrough when Vladimir Coufal’s cross found Pablo Fornals 10 yards out but his header flew the wrong side of the far post.

Instead Palace went ahead in the 35th minute when Ward whipped in another cross from the right.

This time Benteke, now in what for him is a rich vein of goalscoring form, got in front of Issa Diop to head home his third in three matches for the visitors.

It was a distinctly flat first half from an in-form West Ham side, although Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita did have to be on his toes to beat away Jarrod Bowen’s low drive.

Benteke passed up a glorious opportunity for a second before the break for Palace when Andros Townsend danced into the area and laid the ball across goal.

But the Belgium striker opted for a backheel finish and the ball went straight into the arms of Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham equalised 10 minutes after the interval in style through Haller, who has been toiling on his own in the Hammers attack of late as replacement for the injured livewire Michail Antonio.

But he made his mark when Coufal crossed from the right, the Ivory Coast forward executing a superb bicycle kick which flew past Guaita and into the net.

Benteke had been booked in the first half for catching Angelo Ogbonna with a flailing arm and, much to his disbelief, he was shown a second yellow 20 minutes from time for the same indiscretion against Soucek.

West Ham looked for a winner but Declan Rice fired inches wide as both these upwardly mobile sides were forced to settle for a point.

Premier League: West Ham v Crystal Palace

The Hammers are currently 6th in the top flight standings after 12 games, something which even the most optimistic West Ham fan might have been surprised at considering the club’s flirt with the drop last season.

With 20 points so far, David Moyes’ side are halfway to the ‘magic 40 point mark’ so often touted as the tally tantamount to Premier League survival.

But the Hammers may have more lofty ambitions than that, considering their recent form and the current make-up of the table.

Victory over Leeds United on Friday means West Ham have had two days extra rest than their opponents Crystal Palace, who are themselves riding a wave of confidence after a strong performance against league leaders Tottenham on Sunday which yielded a point.

Although there is three points difference between the sides heading in to Wednesday’s game, Palace may be looking up at the Europa League mix this season rather than over their shoulders.

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson has picked the same starting eleven twice in a row and may do the same at the London Stadium following the impressive display against Spurs.

However, Tyrick Mitchell may return to the fold if he can recover from a bout of illness which caused him to miss Palace’s last game.

Mahmadou Sakho is a major doubt for Hodgson though, and will undertake a late fitness test to determine his availability.

West Ham have one of the freshest squads in the Premier League right now, with only injury-prone Michail Antonio and Arthur Masuaku absentees – Masuaku is having surgery to correct a niggling knee issue which he says has been bothering him for two years.

West Ham v Crystal Palace is an 8pm kick off on Wednesday 16th December.