West Ham United can put one foot in the knockout stages of the Europa League with another victory against Genk later this evening.
David Moyes’ side travel to Belgium with a 100% record in Group H, where they hold a six-point advantage over all three remaining teams. And they will head into kickoff in inspired form.
The Irons thrashed Aston Villa 4-1 on Sunday afternoon to cement their place inside the Premier League’s top four. They are now level on points with defending champions Manchester City, who they knocked out of the Carabao Cup this time last week.
Moyes will be tasked with the conundrum of resting players, whilst also maintaining their impressive performance levels, so it will be intriguing to see his lineup.
One name that could be facing the axe tonight is Said Benrahma after a mixed showing at Villa Park.
The £22.5m-rated Algerian winger delivered an assist for Declan Rice’s strike but that was more down to the English powerhouse as he drilled a scorcher home from long range.
Aside from that, he offered very little and it’s been a similar case over the last few games as his form has tailed off compared to the way in which he began the 2021/22 campaign.
Benrahma kickstarted the season with two goals and two assists against Newcastle United and Leicester City but in the subsequent eight outings, he has only scored one goal and provided one assist, as per Transfermarkt.
Recently, The West Ham Way’s Dave Walker described the wide man as “most exciting player” the club have had since Dimitri Payet, also dubbing him a “match-winner.”
Elsewhere, the 5 foot 8 wizard was once dubbed a “true magician” by former Nice teammate Lorenzo Vinci.
However, on Sunday, he was hooked after just 68 minutes, having managed only three more touches of the ball (31) than goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (28), which goes to show his lack of influence on the game.
Furthermore, the 26-year-old dynamo failed to deliver a single accurate cross, made just one dribble from three attempts (33.3%) and won only three of his eight battles (37.5%), via SofaScore.
This sort of lightweight showing typifies the inconsistencies in his game but that’s understandable as there’s still some element of adapting to the Premier League, as well as other players such as Rice and Jarrod Bowen elevating their games even more.
It could be wise to bench him to spark a reaction and also hand an opportunity to players like Nikola Vlasic, who too need to impress the manager outside of top-flight action.
Moyes must be ruthless and axe Benrahma in Belgium tonight.
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