There is some light Lucas Paqueta relief for David Moyes but 21 divided by 11 equals sleepless nights for the West Ham boss.

Usually when we enter these long breaks from Premier League action while international football takes centre stage, West Ham fans – like supporters of most other clubs – bemoan the boredom.

But given West Ham’s desperate situation in the table right now, it comes as something of a relief from the immense pressure.

With nine clubs separated by just four points when the action resumes after the break, it promises to be one of the tightest relegation run-ins ever.

Given fixtures involving the nine relegation rivals between now and the end of the season, West Ham know at least four wins will be needed from the remaining 12 matches to stay up.

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David Moyes is going to need all his best players fit, available and firing for the final two months of the campaign to achieve that.

So the international break – and the obvious increased injury risk it poses to West Ham’s star men – is the last thing the Hammers need right now in many ways.

Thousands of air miles and a clutch of important matches played at high intensity is on the horizon before West Ham embark on a crazy run of nine games in 27 days during April.

That includes three games in six right after this international break.

All eyes will be on key players like Declan Rice, Lucas Paqueta, Alphonse Areola, Nayef Aguerd, Vladimir Coufal, Emerson, Gianluca Scamacca and co now in the hope none pick up injuries.

There is Paqueta relief for Moyes but 21 divided by 11 equals sleepless nights for the West Ham boss.

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Because 11 of West Ham’s first team players have been called up for international duty and will take part in 21 games during the next week or so.

Ten of those 11 players will be part of national team squads playing two games over the next week.

But Paqueta will thankfully only be involved in one – against his West Ham teammate Aguerd in Morocco on Saturday.

While many of the other 10 West Ham players called up face matches in midweek next week, Paqueta will get a full week to recover and return to east London to prepare for the huge clash with Southampton.

It is a massive relief for Moyes given how important Paqueta will be to West Ham’s hopes of survival.

The Scot will no doubt be monitoring Paqueta and his other stars with his fingers tightly crossed.

West Ham’s full list of 11 current first team stars on international call-ups and when they’re in action:

Declan Rice and Ben Johnson (England senior and Under 21s)

Senior fixtures: vs Italy in Naples Mar 23 and Ukraine in London Mar 26.

Under 21 fixtures: vs France in Leicester Mar 25 and Croatia in Fulham Mar 28.

Lucas Paqueta (Brazil)

Fixtures: vs Morocco in Tangier Mar 25.

Alphonse Areola (France)

Fixtures: vs Holland in Saint-Denis Mar 24 and Ireland in Dublin Mar 27.

Nayef Aguerd (Morocco)

Fixtures: vs Brazil in Tangier Mar 25 and Peru in Madrid Mar 28.

Gianluca Scamacca and Emerson (Italy)

Fixtures: vs England in Naples Mar 23 and Malta in Ta’ Qali Mar 26.

Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal (Czech Republic)

Fixtures: vs Poland in Prague Mar 24 and Moldova in Chisinau Mar 27.

Thilo Kehrer (Germany)

Fixtures: vs Peru in Mainz Mar 25 and Belgium in Cologne Mar 28.

Krisztian Hegyi (Hungary)

Fixtures: vs Estonia in Budapest Mar 23 and Bulgaria in Budapest Mar 27.


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