West Ham United: Upcoming fixtures
Author: Emily Pulham. Published: 27 January 2020 at 8:00pm
Written by: Graham Keeffe
After a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Leicester City on Wednesday night, West Ham find themselves dangling perilously above the relegation zone in 17th place. With fellow strugglers Bournemouth and Aston Villa both winning pressure is mounting on the Hammers to grind out some results. We take a look at West Ham’s upcoming fixtures to see if there is still some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Liverpool (H 29/10/20 + A 24/02/20) – Recent meetings between the two don’t bode well for West Ham. They’ve lost four of the last five against the Reds, conceding 17 goals whilst only scoring a meagre 3. That being said, the last time Liverpool visited the London Stadium in February 2019 the Hammers put up a real fight. Fans may remember the contentious build-up to Liverpool’s goal, where Milner was blatantly offside. Right in front of the linesman. Through some quick thinking from a set-piece however, Antonio fired the Hammers level and the game eventually finished 1-1. Chances are few and far between against the current Liverpool side so there’s no room for complacency when they present themselves. Moyes’s men will need to be defensively aware and resolute for 90 minutes if they are to get something from this game. Any lapse in concentration will be severely punished. A draw is not outside the realms of possibility.
We travel to Merseyside later in February for the return fixture where proceedings may prove to be less fruitful. Anfield has been somewhat of a fortress this season and that doesn’t look set to change any time soon. It can only be hoped that the first ever premier league mid-season break prior to this game allows Moyes and Co to work out a game plan to try and disrupt the Reds. Liverpool seem to be able to stretch and narrow their home turf at will at the moment and it is unlikely that the Hammers will be able to match such intensity.
Brighton (H 01/02/20) – This is a must win game. Brighton are a team that the Hammers have consistently struggled against in recent times, having not won any of the last five meetings (D2 L3). Haller missed the 1-1 draw back in August through injury so his presence up front this time around may prove crucial, particularly given the heading abilities of Dunk and Duffy. With Anderson out injured, it will be up to Fornals or Lanzini to provide that creative spark from midfield. The home side are more than capable of achieving a victory in this game, it just depends on which West Ham turn up.
Manchester City (A 09/02/20) – Having been hit for five by the reigning champions on opening day, the Hammers should be looking to prove a point against a Man City side who have not been their usual, perfect selves this season. Admittedly, they have been missing key defensive man Aymeric Laporte for much of the campaign and Guardiola has been forced to improvise with defensive players on more than one occasion. Having not one any of the last seven meetings, it is unlikely that West Ham will cause an upset at the Etihad. With Laporte now back playing and Aguero scoring goals for fun, City will be looking to finish the second half of the season strongly. Preventing a recurrence of the previous score line would be an achievement for the Hammers.
Southampton (H 29/02/20) – The Saints have had a massive resurgence in recent weeks and racked up another good win against Palace on Tuesday. Frontman Danny Ings has been a revelation for them this season and his rich vein of form seems to have rubbed off on his teammates. The South Coast side will be a very different one confidence-wise from the one the Hammers beat 1-0 away in December and this is something to be weary of. Keeping Ings quiet and preventing Ward-Prowse pulling the strings in midfield will be integral to a home win.
A return of 7-8 points is what West Ham should realistically be aiming for over the next few fixtures. It’s crucial that we beat both Brighton and Southampton and attempt to get a result against Liverpool at home. Getting a result against either Man City or Liverpool away seems to be outside the realms of possibility but football can surprise us all and churn out a miracle every now and again. COYI!