West Ham have no fixture next weekend as the first international break since the World Cup takes over instead.

While the Hammers will be itching to pick up their first points, they have to wait until they travel to Everton on the 16th September for the opportunity

In the meantime, four Hammers are away on international duty.  Here, we focus on Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko and look at what he’ll be up to over the break.

Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko speaks at a press conference before the World Cup Group I qualifying soccer match between Ukraine and Croatia at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. Ukraine, Sunday, October 8, 2017 (Photo by Danil Shamkin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Experienced wideman Yarmolenko will be looking to add to his 77 international caps and 35 goals in the coming days.

He has two games on the horizon, both of which are in the newly-formed UEFA Nations League. Ukraine are in Group 1 in Division B in the inaugural competition.

On Thursday night, Yarmolenko will travel to the Czech Republic in their opening game of the tournament. Then, on Tuesday, Ukraine host Slovakia.

From Wednesday, he will be free to prepare for the game against Everton.

KIEV, UKRAINE – OCTOBER 09: Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko (L) in action against Croatia’s Josip Pivaric (R) during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying soccer match between Croatia and Ukraine at the Olympic stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, on October 09,2017. (Photo by Vladimir Shtanko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Will he play?

Yarmolenko is a key man and should be in line to start both matches.


He is arguably his side’s most creative player and should be handed the opportunity to kickstart his season, cutting inside from the right flank in Andriy Shevchenko’s side.

Who is he up against?

There aren’t many familiar faces on either side, but there are a couple of names who are of note.

Against the Czechs, Chelsea loanee Tomas Kalas, who is at Bristol City in the Championship, may line up in defence to try and stop Yarmolenko.

In the second match, against Slovakia, he may face Premier League opposition, in the shape of Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

KINGSTON UPON THAMES, ENGLAND – AUGUST 28: Andriy Yarmolenko of West Ham United in action during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between AFC Wimbledon and West Ham United at The Cherry Red Records Stadium on August 28, 2018 in Kingston upon Thames, England. (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

How can this help West Ham?

The Hammers travel to Newcastle in early December, so the battle with Dubravka could be an early sign of things to come there.

However, the key for Yarmolenko is to regain his confidence and move closer to full fitness. Being away with his countrymen could help him relax and enjoy his football again, offering a welcome break from West Ham’s struggles.

Yarmolenko is a player of undoubted quality, but he needs to kickstart his season. A spell away as his country’s main man could be just the ticket.

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