West Ham United will make the short trip across the capital to West London to take on Brentford this afternoon as the Hammers look to consolidate their place in the Premier League’s top six.
The Hammers are currently sixth in the top-flight but only on goal difference with Manchester United level on points in seventh.
As well as eyeing a top-six finish, David Moyes’ side are still competing in Europe with the East London outfit securing a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie against Lyon on Thursday.
Moyes deployed a largely strong side, however, the inclusion of Ryan Fredericks was a mistake that proved evident in the French side’s equaliser and can’t be repeated at the Brentford Community Stadium today.
West Ham are blessed when it comes to numbers at right-back, with Vladimir Coufal, Ben Johnson and Fredericks all very much a part of the first-team picture.
Coufal has often been the first-choice pick of the trio over the past two seasons, however, having recently returned from a groin injury, the Czech Republic international was kept on the bench on Thursday night.
That ultimately proved to be a mistake with Fredericks struggling on the big European stage; even Johnson would’ve been a better shout.
Against Lyon, the Englishman completed just over half of his passes with a 58% accuracy whilst losing possession on 20 occasions and completing zero crosses or long balls.
Granted, with appearances limited the 29-year-old’s numbers are down. Although, it’s still clear to come to the conclusion that he’s well below the standard the Hammers are now trying to reach on a consistent basis.
Deemed to have had a “shocker” recently against Newcastle by journalist Tom Clark, Fredericks is yet to complete a successful dribble in the top-flight whilst also losing possession an average of 5.3 times a game. Moreover, the right-back averages just 0.3 interceptions, 0.3 tackles and 0.8 clearances a match.
It will be down to Moyes to pick who he fancies more to deal with Brentford this afternoon, however, it’s vital that Fredericks is not in that starting lineup if the Scotsman is serious about securing a top-six finish.