While plenty of column inches have surrounded the debate regarding West Ham United goalkeeper Joe Hart and his diminished status in the England setup, there are other Hammers players who look sure of playing at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.

A Premier League season of struggle, first under Slaven Bilic and now David Moyes, is drawing to a close but international duty beckons for three names on West Ham’s books on the global stage this summer. Who do Hammers fans need to look out for during the World Cup?

Javier Hernandez

Chicharito’s return to England hasn’t quite been all what West Ham would’ve hoped for when they splashed a reported £16,000,000 on the Mexico poacher from Bayer Leverkusen. A proven Premier League performer really ought to be in double figures for goals.

Ex-Manchester United frontman Hernandez is the prolific talisman that should spearhead the Mexican attack at the World Cup finals in Russia. Their passionate fanbase leave Latin America and the iconic Estadio Azteca behind to watch if Chicharito can add to his 49 international goals.

Mexico are drawn in Group F which contains reigning world champions Germany, but the CONCACAF nation also receives market support from punters as they’re 9/5 to finish second and 5/4 to qualify from this group, which also contains Sweden and South Korea. Hernandez himself can be backed at up to 100/1. It’s something of a longshot though, so check out the latest free bets from online bookmakers UK punters can access. 

Cheikhou Kouyate

As national captain of Senegal, Hammers holding midfielder Kouyate has a tough act to follow on international duty. The last time this African nation reached the World Cup finals, they made the last eight in 2002.

West Ham United Vs Manchester City” (CC BY 2.0) by joshjdss

Whether this current Senegalese crop are as good as the El-Hadji Diouf vintage that went to Japan and Korea 16 years ago remains to be seen, but the spine of their side is certainly solid under the leadership of Kouyate. As one of Sam Allardyce’s better signings as West Ham boss, he brings a physical presence whether used in the engine room or the back four.

Senegal contest a pretty open-looking Group H at the World Cup and will fancy their chances of reaching the knockout phase, which is a 6/4 chance with the bookies. This pool sees them play Poland, Japan and Colombia in that order.

Joao Mario

The World Cup could easily be a shop window for Hammers loanee Joao Mario, who is a European Championship winner with Portugal two years ago. He joined from Inter Milan in January but his long-term future is yet to be determined.

With national coach Fernando Santos showing loyalty to the plans who thwarted hosts France in the Euro 2016 final, Mario is likely to take his place on the Portuguese roster once again as a member of the supporting cast behind star man Cristiano Ronaldo.

This is in spite of his difficult club season where Mario lost him place in the Inter team and hasn’t really set the Premier League alight either. Portugal are 25/1 chances with most bookmakers to go all the way again and lift the World Cup and 9/4 chances to pip pool favourites Spain to top spot in Group B, where they also play Iran and Morocco.


By Geo

I am the Scottish one in the videos, I idolise Liam Gallagher and enjoy maltesers. I will forever be convinced Mark Noble is a good player and will forever be convinced that Kouyate needs to play centre back. I once applied for The Apprentice and got told my plan was useless but at least it did not include a running track.

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