Stockport Test Offers Chance For West Ham’s Fringe players

West Ham to play Stockport. (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)
West Ham to play Stockport. (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images) /
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Michail Antonio is not a fringe player but could benefit from some minutes on the pitch. The make-shift striker has been brilliant for the Hammers in recent times, but a hamstring injury has curtailed his season. Giving the Englishman some minutes would help improve his match fitness ahead of the rest of the Premier League season.

Sebastien Haller has been leading the line in Antonio’s absence, but the striker just does not seem to be working out for multiple reasons. Moyes knows how key Antonio is for his system, and getting him one hundred per cent fit is key for his plans.

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Another option for Moyes would be to give a debut to youngster Ademipo Odubeko. The striker that West Ham signed from the Manchester United academy had been on fire for the academy this season. Odubeko’s high point was his brace in the EFL Trophy; however, his progress was stopped due to injury.

The 18-year-old is now fit again, and a game against Non-League opposition could be the perfect starting point for the raw talent of Odubeko. If the debut is successful and Odubeko finds himself on the scoresheet, he could be promoted to the first-team. The Hammers only have Antonio and Haller as striker options and are on the lookout for someone to join the ranks. If there is an internal answer, it would be a cost-saving option.

Moyes could also recall a large group of youngsters to the team that have already made appearances for the club. Harrison Ashby, Emmanuel Longelo, Jamal Baptiste and Aji Alese could get themselves some more minutes for the first team. Moyes could also hand a debut to new signing Frederick Ibsen Alves who has only just joined from Danish side Silkeborg IF.

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West Ham could really push to go deep in the FA Cup this season as they don’t have any relegation worries looming over. Moyes may be tempted to take a side entirely made up of youth, but that could be a big risk. There would be no harm in taking a more experienced squad than expected.