Sunday 13 August 2017

Coddled-together Hammers travel in hope rather than expectation

For the unacquainted, Coddle is an Irish (Dublin) dish made up from leftover bacon and sausages that are cooked below boiling point with potatoes and onions. Said to be Dean Swift’s favourite dish, in reality most people find it disgusting!

Because it is made from leftovers it has no specific recipe – and thus gives rise to the term ‘coddled together’ rather like the West Ham team for today’s visit to Ye Olde Trafforde where Slaven Bilic wilkl be without Cheik Kouyate, Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio and, of course Andy Sicknote and Diafra Sakho.

Quoted at 11-1 against, it’s hard to see how the Hammers can pull of a win today against a Man United side that is widely tipped to challenge for the title and includes the terrifying prolific (against West Ham anyway!) Romelu Lukaku.

If Man United have a weakness, it is Jose Mourinho’s tendency to play it conservatively against sides who should be there for the taking – hence the difficulty his side had with having so many draws last season.

West Ham will be hoping that they can keep it tight at the back with what is, on paper, an impressive back five. Otherwise, Chicharito will be hoping to mark his return with a goal that, even if he doesn’t celebrate it, West Ham fans certainly will do justice to! However, we expect Bilic to go with a 4-5-1 which would require that Hernandez plays as the lone striker which is his less effective role.

Given the absentees, the main talking points in terms of selection will be around left back (we think Masuaku will get the nod over Cresswell) and centre back (Ogbonna over Fonte/Collins). Will Toni Martinez get a run out for the last 20 minutes? We hope so as he looks ready to make the transition to the first team and we still desperately need striking options.

We refuse to predict a defeat but would gladly take a point at this stage. Bilic tends to spring surprises on opening days, so fingers crossed! At the very least we will get a look at our cool new away kit.


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