West Ham United are safely secure in staying up in the Premier League for next season, so with that in mind, they can now focus on trying to reach a European final for the first time in close to a half-century. Michail Antonio is the only fresh fitness concern this midweek, as a UEFA Europa Conference League clash against AZ Alkmaar beckons.
The big Jamaican missed Sunday’s loss to Brentford, in the league, due to a calf issue.
West Ham United vs AZ Alkmaar FYIs
Kickoff: Thurs May 18, 8pm, AFAS Stadion
Competition: UECL Semifinal, Leg 2/2, WHUFC leads 2-1 on aggregate
West Ham Preview Material: Team News Starting XI Prediction
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Fun Fact: AZ are unbeaten in their last 25 UEFA games in Alkmaar (W17 D8)
The problem was sustained last week, in the UECL reverse fixture/first leg, when he was seen limping off after the whistle had blown. The good news is that the problem is not serious, and it is being widely reported that his absence at the Bees was just a precuationary one.
The 33-year-old is reportedly in line for a first team assignment here, and I guess we’ll see if/what manager David Moyes says about the situation on Wednesday.
So that means the Hammers have to contend with only the three long-term injury absentees- Vladimir Coufal, Kurt Zouma and a player that contends with Michail Antonio for playing time: Gianluca Scamacca.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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