Which Hammers Players Can Make An Impact At Russia 2018?

While the Phony transfer war is on we thought we would think about The 2018 World Cup in Russia which will be held in less than twelve months and when they aren’t cheering on their national teams, football fans will be keeping an eye out for their club players in action at the championships. Just three teams have qualified so far but 29 more will follow and West Ham United are expected to have a number of players involved next summer. Players like Winston Reid and Jose Fonte will play for teams which will almost definitely qualify but a number of other stars are waiting to see if they will take part in the finals. If they do, the likes of Manuel Lanzini and Cheikhou Kouyate will be looking to become some of the breakout stars at Russia. Brazil, Iran and hosts Russia are the only teams to have qualified for next year’s World Cup finals but there are a number of countries set to join them. New Zealand are one of the closest sides to progression with a two-legged tie against the Solomon Islands concluding in September. It would be the second time in three editions of the tournament in which the Kiwis have qualified and captain Winston Reid will be hoping to help his country achieve their first ever win at a World Cup finals tournament should they make it next year. Another Hammers centre-back who will be looking to make an impression is Jose Fonte. The 33-year-old was a part of the Portugal side which won last summer’s European Championship and this new batch of Portuguese talent will be looking to establish itself as one of the world’s best sides next year. Portugal have a wealth of young attacking talent but they are somewhat lacking in depth defensively. This will serve Jose Fonte well who, despite his error against Mexico in the Confederations Cup this month, will hopefully hold on to his place in the starting lineup.One man who could have a breakout tournament is Argentina’s Manuel Lanzini. New manager Jorge Sampaoli faces a tough test to qualify for Russia but his new-look side has got off to a good start. Two wins from two – including one against rivals Brazil – has given the Argentineans optimism ahead of the return of World Cup qualifying in August. Manuel Lanzini has enjoyed himself since Sampaoli has taken charge, making his debut in the win over Brazil and the Hammers star didn’t have to wait long for his second cap. The 24-year-old has been deployed in a deeper role for his country and is one of just a handful of players to have played in both of Sampaoli’s matches. Lanzini will be hoping to stay in his new manager’s good books ahead of Russia next year. Of the home nations, the Hammers have three players who each play a key role for their respective national teams but all three countries face a tough test to get to Russia. Darren Randolph continues to star for the Republic of Ireland, James Collins regularly plays for Wales and Robert Snodgrass is one of the key men for Scotland. Of the three nations, the Republic of Ireland hold the best chance of qualification. They’re currently level on points with Serbia in Group D and as of 20th June, are 15/8 to top their group according to betway.com. Wales are in third place in that group and the bookies have them at 10/3 to nick top spot. Scotland have a much slimmer chance of qualification and are way out at 150/1 to top the group on the same site. If any of these three nations get to Russia then the Hammers stars will have to play a key role.There are a handful of other West Ham players who are playing for national teams which face a tough or highly unlikely chance of reaching Russia. Sofiane Feghouli’s Algeria are bottom of their group, and both Andre Ayew’s Ghana and Cheikhou Kouyate’s Senegal are outside of the qualification spots in theirs. Diafra Sakho faces a test to even get back in the Senegal team and needs to play.
The England national team are on track to achieve qualification but they have done so without the influence of West Ham’s English stars thus far. The trio of Michail Antonio, Andy Carroll and Mark Noble will all be hoping for places in any potential World Cup squad but right now, are seen as wildcard selections rather than must-picks. Carroll is the only player of the three to have a cap for the England national team but Michail Antonio is the closest to getting the nod now. Injury has hurt his chances in the past and the 27-year-old will have to come back full fit and fighting next season if he is to get on that plane to Russia. West Ham United have a number of players who could make big impressions in Russia next year. Hammers fans will be hoping that Manuel Lanzini becomes one of the breakout stars of the tournament and supporters will also be hoping for consistent performances from Jose Fonte and Winston Reid. The home nations have a reasonable chance of making next summer’s finals but unfortunately, the same cannot be said of West Ham’s African contingent. The likes of Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll will also be hoping for big seasons next year to try and force their way into the squads for Russia 2018.



darrenharry's picture

At least I hope not. It's tripe. See me!

69 users have voted.
nevillenixon's picture

something has to pay for the server costs! I generally assume people are able to distinguish what I write as opposed to 'sponsored' articles

82 users have voted.
Dicks is the man's picture

by the time 2018 world cup comes around, the only player still from the current squad is likely to be noble.

98 users have voted.
hammergirl's picture

since we lost carlton we have been bereft of any england quality:)

71 users have voted.
Dicks is the man's picture

true but i think the post is about all players, not just englanders.

36 users have voted.

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