How to Watch
Date/time: Monday, 8:00 p.m. (UK), 3:00 p.m. ET (USA)
Venue: London Stadium, London, UK
Official: Kevin Friend
TV: NBC Sports Live (USA), Sky Sports Premier League Soccer (UK), TSN1, TSNGO (Canada), SKY Planeta Fútbol (Mexico), & other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Is this the lineup I hope Slaven puts out? Not really, I’d like to see him get a bit more aggressive on Monday. However, Bilic knows it’s a must win (though it’s probably not enough to save his job) for West Ham United, and it will be defense first against the mighty Terriers. There are a few points of contention that can see the lineup shift going into the match.
I get this nagging feeling Bilic isn’t all too impressed with Aaron Cresswell as of late, although, it’s not as if Arthur Masuaku has been lighting it up either. Cresswell received the nod in their previous two defeats against Newcastle and Southampton, so this might be a way to green light his opening day starter in Masuaku.
Honestly, who knows. Maybe that’s half the problem with this squad. Declan Rice probably deserves a look, but if we’re being honest, he’s been very passive and not willing to force an error. You have to figure with Edimilson Fernandes and Manuel Lanzini out with injuries, Pedro Obiang must be getting the start. Cheikhou Kouyate is fit and ready to rock and since he hasn’t been part of the three previous defeats, naturally the fans are looking forward to seeing him return. Mark Noble is Bilic’s man through and through. Regardless of what you think of his (dwindling) ability and form, he’ll wear the captain’s armband and look to rally a team that’s been suffering from self doubt.
I think Diafra Sakho actually had a pretty good showing when he’s been on the field. It’s his off the field antics I’m concerned with. While I don’t think they will affect him personally, I’m hoping there isn’t some internal punishment lined up that we aren’t aware of. If I see Andre Ayew in the starting XI, midfield or wing, I’m going to snap.
Mark Noble last scored February 4th against Southampton
There are very few axioms in the world. Gravity, the laws of nature, David Gold will say something stupid on Twitter, are all but a few. Another universally accepted truth is Huddersfield will eventually concede a goal and lose a match. It doesn’t have to be against Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur, sometimes it’s just a matter of a team punching above their weight taking on a team punching below. Like Bilic, I feel this is a great matchup for the struggling Hammers. At home, the fans will be buzzing, the atmosphere will be electric, and I truly believe we’ll pour on the goals.
I look for Javier Hernandez to score two with potentially a surprise goal from Mark Noble, all to come away with a 3-0 victory.