West Ham season restart preview

West Ham season restart
Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they stand ahead of the final nine matches of the season.

West Ham United is next.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Let’s take a closer look at all things Irons when it comes to the season restart.

Outlook: You look at the West Ham roster and their remaining fixtures and figure it should be smooth sailing out of the drop zone, but West Ham was 5W-4D-10L when it fired Manuel Pellegrini, and the hiring of David Moyes has proven nothing special. The Irons have gone 2W-2D-6L since the veteran PL manager retook the reins in London. That’s 33 percent of the points down to 27. Looking at the schedule, it’s fair to say nothing’s really changed (Moyes did have Liverpool twice, but Pellegrini saw wins over Chelsea and Man Utd). Not equal but not ideal.

[ MORE: Ranking every West Ham player in 2019-20 ]

Tactical analysis: David Moyes’ Irons like to work the flanks and send crosses into the fray via Aaron Cresswell and other long ball enthusiasts, but also have trouble stopping other sides from beating them out wide. They’ve been weak inside, too, but the loan of Tomas Soucek and idea of playing him with Declan Rice in a dynamic defensive midfield duo could allow Issa Diop and the West Ham center backs a chance to refind their form.

Possible XI (4-2-3-1) 

—– Fabianski —–

— Zabaleta — Diop — Ogbonna  — Cresswell —

—– Soucek —– Rice —

— Fornals — Noble — Anderson —

—– Antonio —–

I’m going with what I think Moyes will do, because I’d find a way to use Haller as well and relegated Noble to part-time player; The West Ham captain and fan favorite has had some incredible matches this year, but they are sprinkled between mediocre days. With Jarrod Bowen and Robert Snodgrass also on the bench, taking Noble out could give one of the Hull alums a chance and slot Fornals inside. Yes experience is key and Noble has plenty of it, but if that was the case Moyes wouldn’t have been using Jeremy Ngakia in place of Pablo Zabaleta. Of course, Ngakia has turned down a short-term contract extension to his $6300/week deal…

[ MORE: The 2 Robbies assess West Ham’s chances ]

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Remaining schedule
Home: Wolves (6/20), Chelsea (7/1), Burnley, Watford, Aston Villa
Away: Spurs, Newcastle, Norwich City, Manchester United

Predicted finish: The best thing you can say for David Moyes’ underachievers is that they have a wealth of relegation rivals left on the docket with two of them at home. Beating Villa and Norwich alone is enough to eliminate two teams from catching them, though that pesky third spot looms given four challenging fixtures plus a less-than-straightforward trip to Newcastle. Aiming for 17th, we think they make it. There’s too much talent here, even with Moyes’ underwhelming recent record.