Weblog: The football punter

Hernandez can ease pressure on Bilic

Sky Sports Premier League/Main Event, 8pm Monday

There have not been many positive vibes around West Ham this season as the club's owners, mockingly branded the 'Dildo Brothers', reportedly toy with the idea of doing the dirty on Hammers boss Slaven Bilic. But the pressure could be eased by one of their new signings against Huddersfield.

It has been a chaotic campaign for the Hammers, who were sent on the road for their opening three matches because their stadium was being used for the World Athletics Championship. Injuries have already hit hard, record signing Marko Arnautovic is suspended and ten goals have been conceded in three straight league defeats.

That's even before Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho launched into an extraordinary war of words with West Ham's David Sullivan and David Gold over the failed transfer of William Carvalho.

Even Bilic could not hide his amusement at the "Dildo Brothers" label, which, given his shaky position, may not have been the best step to take before a game where defeat is likely to push him close to the chop.

However, while most of Bilic's new recruits have failed to live up to expectations, Javier Hernandez is the exception and the Mexican hotshot can notch against high-flying Huddersfield.

Hernandez has scored both of West Ham's Premier League goals this season - in the 3-2 defeat with ten men at Southampton when Arnautovic saw red early on - and if the Hammers hit the target he looks the man most likely to do the damage.

The former Manchester United hitman has an excellent career minutes per goal record of 147 and could finally break Huddersfield's run of clean sheets.

Huddersfield have made a flying start to the season with seven points, four goals scored and none conceded from clashes against Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Southampton.

Manager David Wagner was busy improving the squad over the summer and he looks to have done as well as the budget allows to bring in the reinforcements needed given the nature of their promotion.

Town became the first team to go up to the Premier League with a negative goal difference, but despite the near-perfect start it is reasonable to expect Wagner's side to be fighting relegation come May.

Huddersfield were 4-6 ante-post to drop back down to the Sky Bet Championship and they have enjoyed been a gentle start to the campaign, but their fixtures will soon get tougher.

Staying in this match early should be Huddersfield's game plan in the hope that the natives get restless and there may well be opportunities as the game progresses with Aaron Mooy looking to pull the strings behind decent counter-attacking options in Tom Ince and Elias Kachunga.

Steve Mounie possesses an aerial threat but he may be outdone by West Ham's sharpshooter Hernandez.

J Hernandez to score

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Match in Focus

13:00 TODAY BBC1

Colombia v Japan

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Discounting 2002 when they had home advantage, Japan have played 13 matches at the World Cup finals and won just twice
Expert verdict
There has been chaos in the Japanese ranks with a late change of manager not helping their World Cup plans and they don't look ready to take on classy Colombia. The South Americans were quarter-finalists four years ago and anything like that kind of form should be too hot for Japan.