The West Ham United defense has been a shambles over the past few months, and the worrying display last weekend against Sunderland has done nothing to quell the fears of Hammer fans that their team will struggle against at home the rest of the season against good attacking teams like Everton, Liverpool, and worst of all, Tottenham Hotspur.
Wahbi Khazri put in a man-of-the-match performance against the Hammers last Saturday, and it would be important to note that he has barely featured this season as rumors of “attitude problems” have kept him out of the Wearside’s club first team much of the season. Of course, he looked like a man possessed against West Ham, scoring a remarkable goal directly from a corner kick and generally ravaging the defense, which appeared to have no answer for him all day. All of this from a team that literally hadn’t scored in over 700 minutes of play.
Romelu Lukaku has been involved in 17 goals in 9 games. pic.twitter.com/kbwrD3VeKR— Football Facts (@FootbalIFact) April 16, 2017
So what will happen when one of the best strikers in the Premier League shows up at the London Stadium this weekend? American fans will have Romelu Lukaku’s goal against the US National team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil burned into their brains, and Lukaku’s scored a remarkable number of goals for the blue side of Merseyside this season, including four goals against AFC Bournemouth on February 4th, the same Bournemouth side that put three goals past the Hammers plus two missed penalties.
Goal for Belgium - Lukaku on the breakaway on the 105th minute and Belgium takes a 2-0 lead over the United States in the first extra period— KUSI News (@KUSINews) July 1, 2014
What kind of carnage will Lukaku bring upon the West Ham backline? Jose Fonte and James Collins are both about as mobile as boulders. Winston Reid is back, but since this is his first game back after missing time from injury, he is likely to be not at full fitness and Everton is not a team that West Ham can afford to be at anything less than full strength. Everton is going to be up for the game, as they sit only three points out of 5th place and seven points from 4th place and a Champions League spot. With Sam Byram picking up a red card, Mark Noble still out, and Reid not fully fit, it’s anyone’s guess what the backline will look like. The fact that there is still a debate over what the best lineup should be for the Hammers in April is a good indication that this team is in serious trouble against a team that is flying high, with perhaps the most dominate striker currently playing in the Premier League.
With the current problems in West Ham's defence it has been calculated that Lukaku is going to score 17 (SEVENTEEN) goals on Saturday.— VINNYWHUFC (@vinnywhufc) April 20, 2017
While football is a funny old game, as the saying goes, and it’s never a guarantee that anyone will score a goal, this match is lining up to be a showcase for Lukaku and Everton. It will take a small miracle to keep the scoreline under three goals against for West Ham, and Lukaku could reasonably be expected to be up for scoring a hat trick or more. The defense at West Ham is in shambles, and expect the Toffees to show no mercy on Saturday.