West Ham United take on Huddersfield Town in a game that will highly define manager Slaven Bilic’s career at the club. Starting the season with three back-to-back defeats despite spending hefty sums to bolster the squad has left the fans fuming at the Croatian, who believe his tactics are flawed and doesn’t hold so much respect in the dressing room.
The board had to announce it publicly that they were behind the manager in the international break amidst the increasing chaos. The Hammers have a pretty winnable list of fixtures in the next two months and Bilic has been given one last chance to save his position.
The Iron did show some intent in their second game against Southampton but a late goal edged them ahead. It was definitely a hit to their confidence and it is the job of the manager to bring it back, and he will have a chance to do so this Monday.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 West Ham United Line-up vs Huddersfield Town
The position under the bar should be taken by Joe Hart. The Manchester City loanee is undeniably one of the best shot-stoppers in the Premier League, who understands the style of play well and possesses some brilliant reflexes. After a decent run in the international duty, he would expect things to go his way at the club level.
However, the English goalie has hardly been at fault in West Ham’s losses as the back line has been extremely leaky. It was a similar situation with Adrian and Randolph in that position last season.
The manager had to stick with a four-man defence as he would need the assuring presence of Pablo Zabaleta more than Sam Byram’s pace on the flanks. However, the Premier League veteran has done little to show that he still has it in him for the top level.
Four at the back visibly gives them much more stability. The defensive flanks will be taken by Aaron Cresswell and Zabaleta will, while the central defence is expected to feature Angelo Ogbonna and James Collins.
Fans would really be frustrated in the club’s huge failure to land a midfielder despite getting so close to get a world class option like William Carvalho. Midfield has been a huge crisis for the Hammers and it will continue to be with no upgrade yet.
The double pivot is expected to be Cheikhou Kouyaté alongside skipper Mark Noble. Bilic needs someone who can hold the ball under pressure and try to find forwards at every chance. With Manuel Lanzini not available till next week, André Ayew should continue to keep his place in the number 10’s role.
Marko Arnautovic will continue serving his suspension till next week. Michail Antonio is expected to start on the right wing and Javier Hernandez on the left. With Andy Carroll in the centre forward role, Bili would need pace on the wings.