Sunday’s game against Everton at Goodison Park is a massive one for West Ham United, as Manuel Pellegrini’s side look to pick up their first win of the season.
Four straight defeats in the Premier League has left the Hammers clutching at straws, but they should be able to profit from a defensive crisis besetting the Toffees.
It was revealed that Seamus Coleman suffered a stress fracture in his foot on international duty with the Republic of Ireland [Source: The Independent], while Michael Keane, Phil Jagielka and Yerry Mina are all out, according to Football London.
That means that a possible back four for Marco Silva’s side on Sunday could consist of Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate, Kurt Zouma and Leighton Baines.
While not a terrible backline, it could certainly be vulnerable to the talents of Marko Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson. The Hammers need to test Everton’s new look defence early and see if they are up to the test.
Kenny is an inexperienced youngster, and certainly no Coleman, so it could be worth Pellegrini deploying Andriy Yarmolenko on the left hand side.
The Ukranian has made a quiet start to his West Ham career, but he should get a start on Saturday and be given the opportunity to terrorise the 21-year-old Kenny.
Holgate and Zouma are an unfamiliar partnership, and Javier Hernandez should be given the opportunity to sniff around them at Goodison Park.
If there’s any miscommunication between the two centre halves then Chicharito will be on hand to capitalise; indeed, being ambitious with his team selection could serve Pellegrini well here.
West Ham largely have a fully-fit squad, and they must ensure they make the most of Everton’s lack of numbers at the back. If they are able to, then a first three points of the season should follow.