At last we reach the final team! West Ham may be last but they’re certainly not least, they will be trying to push into the top half of the table this season. Here’s my final predicted line-up!
Adrian will remain the Hammers number one option between the sticks after an impressive season in 2014/15. 3 penalty saves helped to boost his stats, can he repeat those heroics this season? You’d be a brave man to back him in, unless Bilic can turn around their defensive woes that is.
Cresswell is West Ham’s most expensive defender, and for good reason. He loves to get forward and takes great set pieces, resulting in 2 goals and 4 assists last season. His underlying stats suggest he can do even better! Jenkinson has returned on loan and will be their starting right back, hopefully he can improve on his 2 assists last season. Reid is a sure starter at centre back, whilst Ogbonna and Tomkins will fight it out to stand alongside him. Tomkins has bagged 2 goals from set pieces in West Ham’s short lived Europa League adventure, possibly getting him the nod. It’s a tough call, I’d avoid both. Collins is well down the pecking order.
Noble and Kouyate are likely to form the defensive midfield partnership, giving Payet the freedom to roam in behind the striker and create chances. He created the most chances in Europe last season and will pull the strings for this Hammers side. Amalfitano is likely to start on a wing, however his fantasy returns are never quite good enough. Jarvis could start on the left flank, but poor form last season lead to him being dropped. Nolan should be used as an impact sub rather than a starter.
Sakho looks likely to lead the line (provided he stays fit). Injuries halted his goalscoring streak last season, if he can pick up where he left off he could prove to be great value. Valencia was used out wide at times, and this continued in pre-season. I wouldn’t go near him. Zarate is another West ham frontman to show promise, he could also fight for a spot on the left flank or up top. Carroll will spend half the season in the treatment room as per usual. His return (Expected late September) could throw a spanner in the works…
EDIT: Valencia has sustained a long-term knee injury and will be out for the foreseeable future. Expect to see Zarate or Jarvis start out on the left.
50/50: If Sakho can stay fit then he is certainly a potential bargain this season. He scored 10 goals in 20 Premier League starts last season, but comes in at a handy 6.5. This was thanks to a knee injury which halted his 6 game scoring streak. He is a pure goalscorer, so expect him to score 15+ is he plays out the season. One to watch.
Lock: He’s obviously not a ‘lock’, I’m not sure anyone is. However I love the look of Payet. As I said he created the most chances in Europe, proving that his 17 assist season was no fluke. The French league is no laughing stock either. I’m expecting him to have a very similar impact to Sigurdsson, however West Ham will need a prolific striker to profit from his creativity. At 7.5 he has the potential to be a great differential.
Avoid: West Ham kept just 9 clean sheets last season, not a return you’d want when paying 5.0 for a keeper. Adrian made a name for himself by saving 3 penalties, which would be fantastic if West Ham could also show some solidarity at the back. For now it just bloats his price tag. I’d avoid him to start the season, even with West Ham’s kind fixtures…
Breakout: I see no real ‘breakout’ contenders on their list. Everyone wants Zarate to become a success, but it just doesn’t look like it will happen. If one of West Ham’s talented young defensive brigade got their opportunity in the first team thanks to injury, we could have a bargain on our hands…
That completes our projected XI’s!!! I hope they were helpful in selecting your final squads, you can check out the rest of the teams in the Projected XI’s page at the top of the home screen. I am currently finishing the final player list analysis, look forward to that! Cheers guys.