West Ham United travel to Watford for the final game of the season this Sunday.

A top half finish is now firmly in West Ham’s own hands after a favourable set of results last weekend.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side sit 11th on 49 points.

And the situation is simple. Beat Watford and the Hammers will leapfrog them into at least 10th.

If Leicester City lose to Chelsea then West Ham would rise to 9th with a final day win.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United via Getty Images

West Ham aiming for 9th at distracted Watford

Pellegrini will be boosted by the fact the Hornets could very much be distracted by the small matter of their FA Cup final against Manchester City less than a week later.

Watford players will understandably have one eye on the final and not getting injured.

Javi Gracia will also surely rest several key players.

There is also the small matter of £6million in Premier League prize money up for grabs.

Photo by West Ham United via Getty Images

The £6million game

If West Ham lose – and Crystal Palace win – they will finish 12th, receiving £17.3m. If they finish 9th that figure is nearly £6m higher at £23.1m (Radio Times).


They say never change a winning team.

So with that in mind does Pellegrini take a £6million gamble by sticking with the team that beat Southampton last time out.

Or does he bring back key players Felipe Anderson and Declan Rice who are available again after sitting out that game.

The Chilean is determined to finish strongly.

So he will make two key changes to bring the duo back into the starting line-up at Vicarage Road.

Which means the triple A attack of Anderson, Arnautovic and Antonio will start.

Photo by Ian MacNicol Getty Images

Declan Rice in for Pedro Obiang

Pedro Obiang is likely to be sold this summer after limited game time under Pellegrini. The midfielder put in a decent display against the Saints but after picking up three gongs at the club’s annual awards ceremony Declan Rice will come back into the side.

Felipe Anderson in for Grady Diangana

There was a rare start for young winger Diangana last time out. The 21-year-old did ok in spells but can often lose possession too easily. He has demonstrated great pace and ability but the jury is still out on whether he can cut it long-term with West Ham. Pellegrini certainly believes in him having handed him a long-term deal. But he will have no hesitation pulling him out of the side with record buy Felipe Anderson coming back in to round off a superb first season in the Premier League.

Predicted West Ham team to face Watford:

Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku, Rice, Noble, Lanzini, Anderson, Antonio, Arnautovic.

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