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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Hernandez could ease the pressure on Hammers boss Bilic

Angry fans getting restless

West Ham's Javier Hernandez
1 of 1

Premier League
Sky Sports Premier League/Main Event, 8pm Monday

There have not been many positive vibes around West Ham this season as the club's owners, mockingly branded the 'Dildo Brothers', reportedly toy with the idea of doing the dirty on Hammers boss Slaven Bilic. But the pressure could be eased by one of their new signings against Huddersfield.

It has been a chaotic campaign for the Hammers, who were sent on the road for their opening three matches because their stadium was being used for the World Athletics Championship. Injuries have already hit hard, record signing Marko Arnautovic is suspended and ten goals have been conceded in three straight league defeats.

That's even before Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho launched into an extraordinary war of words with West Ham's David Sullivan and David Gold over the failed transfer of William Carvalho.

Even Bilic could not hide his amusement at the "Dildo Brothers" label, which, given his shaky position, may not have been the best step to take before a game where defeat is likely to push him close to the chop.

However, while most of Bilic's new recruits have failed to live up to expectations, Javier Hernandez is the exception and the Mexican hotshot can notch against high-flying Huddersfield.

Hernandez has scored both of West Ham's Premier League goals this season - in the 3-2 defeat with ten men at Southampton when Arnautovic saw red early on - and if the Hammers hit the target he looks the man most likely to do the damage.

The former Manchester United hitman has an excellent career minutes per goal record of 147 and could finally break Huddersfield's run of clean sheets.

Huddersfield have made a flying start to the season with seven points, four goals scored and none conceded from clashes against Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Southampton.

Manager David Wagner was busy improving the squad over the summer and he looks to have done as well as the budget allows to bring in the reinforcements needed given the nature of their promotion.

Town became the first team to go up to the Premier League with a negative goal difference, but despite the near-perfect start it is reasonable to expect Wagner's side to be fighting relegation come May.

Huddersfield were 4-6 ante-post to drop back down to the Sky Bet Championship and they have enjoyed been a gentle start to the campaign, but their fixtures will soon get tougher.

Staying in this match early should be Huddersfield's game plan in the hope that the natives get restless and there may well be opportunities as the game progresses with Aaron Mooy looking to pull the strings behind decent counter-attacking options in Tom Ince and Elias Kachunga.

Steve Mounie possesses an aerial threat but he may be outdone by West Ham's sharpshooter Hernandez.

J Hernandez to score 
1pt 7-5 Betfair, Paddy Power

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Team news
West Ham
Andy Carroll and Winston Reid are available but Manuel Lanzini has joined Edimilson Fernandes on the sidelines. Marko Arnautovic is banned.

Collin Quaner is a minor doubt, while Martin Crainie, Jonathan Hogg and Jon Gorenc Stankovic are injured.

Key stat
Four of West Ham's last five home wins have been by a 1-0 margin.

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Huddersfield have made a flying start to the season with seven points, four goals scored and none conceded
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