Categorized | West Ham United

Can the Return of Lanzini Fire the Hammers to a Seventh Place Finish?

The early exit from the FA Cup has at least allowed West Ham to enjoy some rest and relaxation whilst on a warm(ish) weather training camp in Malaga

While the pictures released on the club’s official website suggested that the majority of players were enjoying themselves as they were put through their paces, there were arguably less happy vibes emanating from Manuel Lanzini, who appeared to be undergoing a rather intense fitness session.

The idea is that the Argentine will be fit to play some part in the Premier League outing against Fulham, before being welcomed back into the starting eleven for the rest of the campaign.

Return of Lanzini

The diminutive attacker’s return is obviously very welcome. He conjured up six assists last season, and his creativity is essential in bringing others into the game; the 25-year-old also delivering 1.50 key passes and 2.40 completed dribbles per game on average in 2018/19.

His versatility enables him to play on the left or right flanks and even through the middle, and given our current injury woes with the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko, Samir Nasri and Jack Wilshere on the treatment table, Lanzini’s return is a timely boost.

We currently boast the lowest ‘goals for’ column of any of the top-ten sides in the Premier League, and so the Argentine has a huge part to play in the remaining 12 weeks of the season. Can he help us to finish in the vaunted seventh place in the top flight?

Seventh Heaven

More forthright sporting judges suggest there’s first place and then everything else is last, but as we know in football there’s a bit more nuance to the concept of success; particularly in the Premier League.

We have the ‘big six’ to overcome, and it is rare for them not to occupy all half-dozen European qualification places come the end of the campaign.

And so there is some value in finishing seventh in the Premier League. There may be no Europa League spot, no great payout in terms of prize money, but finishing as the ‘best of the rest’ could be a springboard for better things in the future.

When you look at the sides above us in the table – Wolves, Watford and Everton – they’re not exactly teams that blow the mind in terms of the quality of football they play.

And so there is an opportunity for us to climb the rankings in the final dozen games.

The bookmakers are certainly backing the Hammers for a top half finish; we are odds-on to achieve that according to the latest outright Premier League betting odds. As for that high finish in the ‘without top six’ market, we are currently priced at a tempting 16/1 to end up in a magnificent seventh.

With games to come against Everton and Watford, plus a host of winnable ties on home soil, there’s no doubt that West Ham can finish seventh if we can kick on from our recent improvement in form and with Lanzini restored the starting eleven, our chances of achieving exactly that have just improved exponentially.

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I've been a passionate Hammers fan since i can remember. Growing up in Canning Town i was always down Upton Park as it was only a 10 minute walk down the Barking road. Always and forever COYI ! West Ham Till I Die !

English Premier League Table

# Team P
1 Chelsea 33
2 Manchester City 32
3 Liverpool 31
4 West Ham United 24
5 Arsenal 23
6 Tottenham Hotspur 22
7 Manchester United 21
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 21
9 Brighton & Hov… 19
10 Leicester City 19
11 Crystal Palace 16
12 Brentford 16
13 Aston Villa 16
14 Everton 15
15 Leeds United 15
16 Southampton 15
17 Watford 13
18 Burnley 10
19 Norwich City 10
20 Newcastle United 7

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