West Ham United return Saturday from the final international break of the season, when they continue their three match stretch against teams fighting to avoid relegation against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.
Although the Hammers won’t feel the obvious table pressure to secure all three points that their hosts have, Slaven Bilic’s side are badly in need of a victory to end our current five game winless streak.
The tension on Bilic’s job security has begun to rise once more after it diminished with a needed mid-season surge away from the drop zone. And with Pedro Obiang now out for the last eight matches, coupled with stars Winston Reid and Michail Antonio available against Hull, there could not only be fears for the Croatian manager’s future but trepidation over being dragged into the relegation fight.
Meanwhile for Marco Silva, the Portuguese manager has given Hull some needed fight and sophistication in their rejuvenated battle to avoid returning to The SkyBet Championship. Although they are in 18th place, three points behind 17th place Swansea City (who West Ham play next Saturday), Tigers fans and their players feel they still have enough to stay up. They’ll get a lift, as Michael Dawson and Markus Henriksen return, while the energetic Oumar Niasse is also ready for selection again after being ineligible to play against his parent club Everton. Only Tom Huddlestone will be Hull’s major loss, as he is suspended after his red card in the 73th minute at Goodison Park lead to Everton scoring three of their four goals against them after his ejection.
It will be the return to Hull City for Robert Snodgrass, who went another level with his career at the KCOM Stadium and will be in no mood to wildly celebrate if he gets his first Hammers goal on Saturday.
Will either side get an important win here, or will both cancel each other out in their desperation for all three points? Find out, next!
LINEUPS AND FORMATION
We’ll be back for the first half recap.