West Ham United boss David Moyes could make an unpopular decision on who replaces Michail Antonio up front against Manchester United.
Moyes branded Antonio’s late sending off at Southampton ‘stupid’ as it means West Ham’s only striker misses the huge game against Man United at the London Stadium this Sunday.
West Ham fans were not happy the club did not sign a back-up striker in the summer.
And Moyes will get an unwelcome, early opportunity to prove his theory that West Ham ‘will find other ways to score’ in Antonio’s absence when the Red Devils come to town.
Hammers fans have been debating who should replace Antonio up front.
Said Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen, Andriy Yarmolenko and Nikola Vlasic have all played up front in the past.
Many West Ham fans are keen to see £33 million new boy Vlasic up top. Supporters do not feel Yarmolenko is up to it given his lack of pace and impact over the last year.
But speaking on The West Ham Way’s Mad Dog Bites podcast, ex Hammers fan favourite Martin Allen believes Moyes will go with the Ukrainian.
“Bowen would be the one most of us would go for because he’s done it before for David Moyes,” Allen said on Mad Dog bites Episode 2.
“Yarmolenko, he came on the other day and I thought he done very well. So there’s a chance that he could come in and do that role. And then the new signing… Vlasic… they could throw him in at the deep end. But that probably would be a very deep, deep end at the moment.
“Whereas Yarmolenko’s got 100 caps for his country and I personally feel he might go for him.”
West Ham fans have been frustrated at the lack of impact from Yarmolenko under Moyes.
His winning goal in the 3-2 thriller against Chelsea the season before last went a long way to keeping West Ham up.
But the £115,000 per week attacker has done little since.
His goals, assists and performances for Ukraine at the Euros had fans scratching their heads.
In fairness Yarmolenko – now in the last year of his deal – rarely gets a start so struggles to build any momentum.
And he has not got the engine to get up and down and help out his full-back as Bowen and Pablo Fornals do so well.
Now he is banned for the Man United game, Antonio is likely to play against Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday night.
If Yarmolenko plays in that game it is unlikely he will replace Antonio up front against Man United.
So West Ham’s starting XI on Thursday should provide a few answers.