After picking up four points from their last two matches West Ham can breathe a little easier but that doesn’t mean they can afford to rest on their laurels. Those four points have created a neat little buffer between them and the dropzone and they will look to create further distance from it when they play host to fellow strugglers Hull this afternoon.
Wednesday night saw Slaven Bilic’s side edge past Burnley thanks to to a Mark Noble goal. The Hammers were awarded a penalty which was initally saved by Tom Heaton in the Burnley goal but Noble won the race for the rebound and manage to atone for his miss by slotting home to give West Ham the lead and ultimately the win.
That win came after a spirited 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield just three days previous. Darren Randolph’s fantastic save late on from Jordan Henderson’s curling effort meant that the East London side would leave Merseyside with a somewhat unlikely but incredibly important point and it seems as if that has been used as a platform to finally get their season going.
Visitors Hull have already faced London opposition this week after suffering a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham, therefore I would imagine they would have stayed down south as it would seem pointless going all the way up to whatever county they label themselves in these days only to return to the nation’s capital. Then again I’m not privy to Mike Phelan’s travel plans so what do I know?
What I do know is that Hull need to find a win from somewhere and although this game doesn’t quite have the magnitude of a six pointer there is no denying the importance of the game this afternoon. Defeat for Hull and it means that the teams above them are starting to pull clear and making a difficult job this season even harder.
Bar a scare for Tottenham at 1-0 on Wednesday Hull never really threatened and that has been a constant theme throughout this season. It’s now just 1 win in 10 for The Tigers and that in anyone’s book is relegation form. Last Saturday saw them earn a spirited draw at home to Crystal Palace where they played out a 3-3 draw but where the other teams around them are picking up wins Hull are having to make do with the scraps and that means a draw at best.
If Hull can get a win this afternoon they can pull West Ham back into the mix again and restore their own hopes of beating the drop. The thing that Hull must make sure doesn’t happen is that they are cast adrift before the January transfer window reopens as not only does it make the task of staying up more difficult it makes the chances of signing much needed players a little slimmer. Unless you’re just in it for the pay day then why would you move to a club that is earmarked for relegation.
And unfortunately for Hull I don’t think their plight is going to be helped at The London Stadium as West Ham are now starting to show more confidence and that will continue Today as they pick up another win to ease the pressure on Slaven Bilic and continue their march up the table. A routine home win for me.