There has been a new relegation battle twist as West Ham survival rivals Nottingham Forest lose a key striker for the season.
West Ham are in the thick of the tightest Premier League relegation battle for years alongside the likes of Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Leeds United and five other clubs.
Just four points separate the nine clubs from 12th to 20th and at least 36 points is expected to be needed to survive.
The battle for survival will undoubtedly be decided by fine margins so West Ham boss David Moyes will take anything he can get.
And the same goes for Forest, Leeds West Ham’s opponents this weekend Southampton and the others during the almighty scrap that is about to ensue over the final two months.
Football data experts Opta recently published a percentage calculation on the chances of each of the survival rivals being relegated.
It carried good news for West Ham, who Opta state are the second least likely to drop behind Leicester.
There was bad news for Nottingham Forest, though, with Steve Cooper’s side one of the three favourites to be relegated.
Now there’s been a new relegation battle twist as West Ham survival rivals Nottingham Forest lose a key striker for the season.
Supporters will be interested by a new blow at the City Ground. Forest boss Cooper has confirmed that striker Chris Wood will miss the rest of the season with a thigh injury (BBC Sport).
Cooper has also confirmed Forest have concerns over Wood’s fellow forwards Brennan Johnson and Andre Ayew as well as full-back Serge Aurier and midfielder Gustavo Scarpa.
It is a boost for West Ham as they aim to leapfrog Forest in the table this weekend.
West Ham appear to have come through the international break unscathed with no reported injuries to the 11 senior players who joined up with their national sides.
The same cannot be said for the Hammers’ upcoming opponents Southampton, though. The Saints could be without five players for the West Ham six-pointer, including both their central defenders and top scorer Che Adams.
Meanwhile Leeds, who West Ham play in the penultimate game of the season, have been dealt a double injury blow during the international break.
Brilliant forward Wilfried Gnonto looked extremely emotional as he left the field having sustained an ankle injury just 22 minutes into Italy’s 2-0 win over Malta.
It came after key Leeds defender Max Wober was sent home from international duty with Austria after suffering a thigh muscle injury (Leeds Live).
In other news elsewhere Brendan Rodgers has confirmed key Leicester star Youri Tielemens has suffered a setback in his recovery from an ankle injury.
It is big news given that there are three massive relegation six-pointers when the Premier League resumes this weekend.
Forest entertain Wolves while Crystal Palace welcome Leicester on Saturday before West Ham take on Saints on Sunday.
Leeds are away at league leaders Arsenal.