West Ham 2019-20 season preview

Established: 1895
Stadium: London Stadium
Location: London (east London)
Head Coach: Manuel Pellegrini
Nickname: The Hammers, Irons
Rival(s): Tottenham Hotspur, Millwall
Top-Division Titles: Zero

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Best possible XI:


Key arrivals: Pablo Fornals (Villarreal), Sebastian Haller (Eintracht Frankfurt), Albian Ajeti (FC Basel)

Key departures: Marko Arnautovic (Shanghai SIPG), Pedro Obiang (Sassuolo), Lucas Perez (Alaves), Sam Byram (Norwich City)

Ranking their offseason: When you look at the depth of this West Ham squad, it is stacked in midfield and attack. Losing Arnautovic was a blow, but he wanted to leave in January and now he’s gone. Manuel Lanzini, Jack Wilshere, Javier Hernandez, Andriy Yarmolenko and Robert Snodgrass all face a real battle for starting spots as Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller are the big summer arrivals. All in all, a pretty decent summer for the Hammers who have freshened up their squad. 7/10

Star player: Brazilian playmaker Felipe Anderson had a very decent first season in England and showed glimpses of his true potential. West Ham will expect him to kick things up a few notches this season and with Pablo Fornals alongside him, both will look to create plenty of chances for Sebastian Haller to finish. Anderson, on his day, can tear opposition defenses apart. Declan Rice is solid and dependable in midfield and it will be intriguing to see if he can replicate his displays last season.

Coaches’ Corner: Manuel Pellegrini looked a little stressed at times last season, especially after a poor start to the season, but he has turned the Hammers into a team which gets the job done against the teams around them. They also had some big results against some of the big boys (draw against Liverpool and victories against Tottenham and Arsenal) and Pellegrini believes they must be competing for European qualification. With the resources he has been given, that has to be the aim. He must also get luckier with injuries, especially to defensive players.

PST predicts: A top 10 finish for the Hammers is a minimum but a push for Europe all depends on how quickly Haller and Fornals settle into life in England. If West Ham are lucky with defensive injuries this season, expect them to push for seventh.

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