West Ham have been dealt a huge blow for the final weeks of the season as top scorer Michail Antonio has suffered a serious injury and will not feature again this campaign.
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Antonio pulled up with an injured hamstring in their crucial 1-0 win over Swansea last weekend which gave Slaven Bilic‘s side some breathing space from the relegation zone.
Speaking about Antonio’s injury ahead of West Ham’s trip to Sunderland on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com) Bilic confirmed his season is over.
“We are without Michail Antonio. It’s a significant injury and he’s out for the season,” Bilic said. “It’s a big blow with Antonio because he has been good in every game. We have options up front with Andy Carroll and Jonathan Calleri.”
West Ham should have enough in attack to get the remaining points they need to stave off relegation but Antonio (nine goals, three assists in the PL) has been their best player by far this season and after being called up to the England squad he has a new and improved contract offer on the table.
The Hammers are currently eight points clear of the drop zone with six games to go in what has been a tumultuous season on and off the pitch.
Plenty of teething issues have plagued their move to the London Stadium, while Dimitri Payet was sold in January to Marseille and West Ham’s defensive issues have been clear for all to see with the Hammers conceding the fourth-most (57) goals in the PL.
With one more win needed in their final six games to guarantee safety, West Ham will have to grab that without their star performer.