West Ham: David Moyes must unleash Antonio

West Ham United head into Sunday afternoon’s Premier League meeting against Southampton in excellent form, with David Moyes’ side currently on a run of four consecutive wins in all competitions.

However, with Hammers’ still 13th in the top-flight standings after a poor start to the 2022/23 campaign, the 59-year-old will undoubtedly be hoping to make it five victories on the spin against the 18th-placed Saints.

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While £35.5m summer signing Gianluca Scamacca is beginning to find form in front of goal, bagging three over his last four outings in all competitions, it is another West Ham striker who Moyes must unleash on Sunday, namely Michail Antonio.

Indeed, while the 32-year-old is reported to have a 75% chance of being fit to feature at St Mary’s after falling ill in the week, the striker’s record against the Saints should be enough to convince the Irons manager to hand him a start on the south coast.

Having faced Southampton 16 times in his career, the £9m-rated forward has proven a constant threat for the Saints’ centre-backs, finding the net on four separate occasions and providing his team-mates with a further two assists.

Furthermore, the £70k-per-week hitman has also been in impressive form over his nine Premier League outings so far this season, scoring two goals, registering one assist and creating one big chance for his team-mates.

West Ham United manager David Moyes applauds the fans

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The Jamaica international has also taken 1.4 shots, made 0.6 key passes and completed 0.8 dribbles per game, with these returns seeing Antonio average a SofaScore match rating of 6.83, ranking him as Moyes’ joint-eighth best performer in the league.

Scamacca is a very talented striker, but considering Antonio’s history against the Saints, coupled with his impressive returns in the top flight this term, it would seem wise for Moyes to give the 32-year-old the nod ahead of the Italian on Sunday.

Indeed, with Ralph Hasenhutll’s side having already shipped 17 league goals this season, unleashing the player who 90min’s Toby Cudworth dubbed “utterly sublime” will undoubtedly give the Southampton defenders nightmares.

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