West Ham’s Haller Facing Tough Task Against Crystal Palace

Sebastien Haller, West Ham. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Sebastien Haller, West Ham. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /

West Ham might be seen as favourites against Palace, but their hopes could rest on Sebastien Haller bullying a tough Eagles defence.

Sebastien Haller is yet to consistently prove to West Ham fans that he is the man to lead the line in the Premier League. The record signing has shown signs of promise at times this season; his high point was scoring a fantastic winning goal against Sheffield United.

Since then Haller has been dropped to make room for Michail Antonio and then recalled once the Englishman suffered another injury. Most recently Haller had a tough mental match against Leeds. The Ivorian striker could have ended the ninety minutes with at least four goals if he had better luck.

In the end, the 26-year-old finished the match frustrated without a single goal. To make matters worse, Haller had cost the side a goal when he gave the ball away, which led to a penalty for Leeds’ goal.

Sebastien Haller, West Ham.
Sebastien Haller, West Ham. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images) /

The striker could have been seen as unlucky as he had multiple chances blocked by defenders. On another day these shots could have avoided the defenders and added to the Hammers goal tally. A brilliant stop from Illan Meslier also denied Haller a spectacular overhead kick goal. Despite all these chances Haller struggled to dominate a Leeds defence consisting of Luke Ayling a right-back and Liam Cooper.

Against Palace Haller will be up against the experienced Gary Cahill and former Hammer Cheikhou Kouyaté. Both of these defenders are brilliant in the air and will be sure to challenge Haller in every ariel dual contestable. Should the striker allow, himself to be marked out of the game it could cost West Ham the result.

If Haller can get the better of the two defenders, then he could be the catalyst for another Hammers win. Said Benrahma, Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals can certainly help him by offering him the quality service that he will need to beat Cahill and Kouyate.

If the Hammers attack can better the Palace defence, they will have to make the shots count more than they did against Leeds and Manchester United. Vicente Guaita has been on fine form this season and could definitely frustrate the Hammers is he is on top form.

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The match against Palace could decide the type of season West Ham have. Win and the Hammers could be the real deal, and the could indeed challenge for a top-eight maybe top six positions. Lose, and David Moyes’ side could be drawn back into midtable obscurity.