Manchester United will be ‘grateful’ Michail Antonio is out for weekend clash as West Ham prepares for big test without his talisman after playing in Europa League

Manchester United will be ‘grateful’ Michail Antonio is out for weekend clash as West Ham prepares for big test without his talisman after playing in Europa League

Manchester United will breathe a sigh of relief that Michail Antonio does not line up against them on Sunday after playing for West Ham in the Europa League.

Antonio has been on fire for the Hammers this season, scoring his fifth goal in five straight games.

Antonio has already scored five goals this season for West Ham

He got the first as David Moyes’ side kicked off their Europa League campaign on a level playing field with a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb.

Antonio will be a big miss for West Ham as he is unavailable to play against United after being sent off against Southampton last weekend.

This will be the first test for the Hammers without their talisman, and the decision not to sign another striker will be under scrutiny.

Sebastian Haller was sold to Ajax last January and has never been replaced. The striker then scored four goals for the Dutch club in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

TalkSPORT host Jason Cundy praised the Hammers after Thursday night’s win.

Antonio will be a big miss for the Hammers this weekend

He told the Sports Bar: “West Ham was awesome. I’m a Chelsea fan and you are a Spurs fan, let’s show some respect.

“I really love watching West Ham play. Under David Moyes for the past 18 months I have really enjoyed the game of West Ham.

“It’s a good team, well organized, but Antonio will be a big failure against Manchester United this weekend after this red card.

‘I would like to know what West Ham fans think about the fact that they did not come out on the transfer market and did not replace [Sebastian] Haller, who scored a hat-trick yesterday for Ajax. He cleaned up.

Moyes was all smiles after West Ham won

“It must be a fear for them now that he won’t play against Manchester United this weekend.

“If you are a Manchester United fan you will think ‘thank goodness he doesn’t play’. “

West Ham continued their brilliant form in the 2021/22 season after a remarkable campaign which saw them finish sixth last year.

Moyes now has the task of balancing Europe and the Premier League, but was a happy man after beating Dinamo Zagreb.

“I was really happy with the way the players played,” Moyes said. “Zagreb has a very good history in European football so I knew it would be a tough game and the players knew that.

Rice was brilliant in West Ham's 2-0 win


Rice was brilliant in West Ham’s 2-0 win

“It’s something new for us, certainly for someone like Declan Rice who played for his country but not in Europe for his club, so it’s something he’s going to have to get used to as it is the case for most players here.

“I’m really excited not knowing how good they could be. We recruited new players tonight and it hasn’t deteriorated.

“Bigger challenges will come and my goal is always to be in Europe after Christmas when other teams come in. It’s only one game, but the players are well placed. “

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