It’s been a tough year for the Hammers who are just 1 point above the relegation zone. Despite a good start to Moyes’ reign, they haven’t finished the year strong and have only managed to get a draw out of their last 3 games.
Hopefully the new year will bring some freshness to the team and they will start 2018 with a much needed win against WBA, who at this point in time are direct adversaries in the dreaded fight to avoid dropping to the Championship.
It will be tough for somewhat newly appointed David Moyes to turn things around but maybe, just maybe, stepping into the new year will give him the inspiration to deal with whatever issues he is facing right now.
One of his biggest concerns at this point is dealing with injuries. The Hammers have 5 players in the infirmary right now out of which just one could start against WBA. Here’s how the situation looks:
- Edimilson Fernandes – Ankle injury – picked up his 2nd ankle injury in under 4 months. Hopefully this will not become a problem for the 21 year old who was quickly inserting himself in the starting eleven.
- José Fonte – Malleolar injury – out since late October, the 34 year old hopes to return sometime in January. He will not play against WBA though.
- Michail Antonio – Calf problem – his 2nd in under 10 days. There’s no return date set for him unfortunately. It’s a pity as his presence would have surely made a difference.
- Sam Byram – Thigh muscle strain – unfortunately he has not managed to recover and just as Antonio, does not have an estimate time of return.
- Mark Noble – Hamstring strain – West Ham’s captain has a very small chance of recovering until the 2nd of January but he could just as well stay on the bench. Given the importance though, it would be best to have him fully recovered and maybe give him a rest after that against Tottenham.
Looking at West Bromwich Albion’s injury list, things look a bit better with only 2 players being sidelined:
- Nacer Chadli – Thigh muscle injury – the Belgian has been struggling with muscle problems since the beginning of the season and the latest one will probably bench him for at least one month meaning he will return in February at the earliest.
- José Salomón Rondón – Hamstring injury – picked it up on the 26th of December so it would be fair to say he will not be featured against WBA.
This will be a close game which fans will surely watch with interest. David Moyes has his work cut out for him but again he is known for taking on any challenge thrown at him.