West Ham's £200million fixture against Watford is the BIGGEST Premier League game of the season - defeat for either could lead to relegation

talksport.com, 16 July 2020, 08:23
West Ham
West Ham entertain Watford in a crucial Premier League six-pointer at the London Stadium on Friday night.

The outcome of the fixture could go a long way to deciding their respective fates, with both teams holding a three-point cushion above the bottom three as things stand.

This is arguably the biggest Premier League game of the season.

West Ham's thumping 4-0 win at Norwich last time out has given them a new lease of life in their survival bid, but their top-flight status is far from secured for next season.

Defeat for either side in east London could spell cause a rockslide. Bournemouth's stunning comeback victory against Champions League chasing Leicester has given Eddie Howe's fresh belief they can avoid the drop.

While the Cherries came on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline at Manchester City, they have a more favourable run-in than their two relegation rivals.

Bournemouth take on south coast rivals Southampton at the Vitality Stadium on July 19, before a final day trip to Everton a week later.

Meanwhile, the Hammers face a daunting trip to Manchester United on July 22, before ending the 2019/20 campaign with a potential blockbuster clash against Aston Villa on home soil.

Finally, Watford entertain Pep Guardiola's men on July 21 before travelling to Arsenal for their last game.

There is no getting away from how big this match is, with the Hammers - then managed by Manuel Pellegrini - winning the reverse fixture 3-1 last August.

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David Moyes is well accustomed to this kind of scenario. He was tasked with keeping the Hammers up previously - in 2017/18 - and was successful.

But despite achieving that target, the Scot left the club at the end of that season after just six months at the helm.

Moyes must secure Premier League survival once more this term, to ensure there is no repeat of that.

Premier League 2019/20: Relegation run-in

West Ham - Points 34

Watford (H)

Man United (A)

Aston Villa (H)

Watford - Points 34

West Ham (A)

Man City (H)

Arsenal (A)

Bournemouth - Points 31

Southampton (H)

Everton (A)

Aston Villa - Points 30

Everton (A)

Arsenal (H)

West Ham (A)

The cost of relegation for either club could end up being huge given their calibre of players in their ranks on bigger wages.

Both clubs had big transfer outlays last summer too, the Hammers spent £45million on Sebastian Haller alone, while they also spent big on Pablo Fornals. Meanwhile, Watford splashed a fee reportedly worth £40m on Ismaila Sarr.

Now the duo will be fearing the possibility of of a season with no gate receipts, a lot less television money, a transfer market with lower fees and potentially reduced parachute payments.

It's a daunting prospect which could see either side forced into a fire sale which could then jeopardise their chances of a swift Premier League return.

Aston Villa CEO Christian Puslow has even suggested relegation could be a catastrophe for the unlucky clubs to join already demoted Norwich.

He said: "None of us are playing in Europe. None of us are generating millions on match day. It's a much smaller revenue base and the risk of relegation is probably a £200m catastrophe for any club that mathematically could still go down"]

West Ham vs Watford might seem like an afterthought but the ramifications could be huge.

West Ham entertain Watford in a crucial Premier League six-pointer at the London Stadium on Friday night.

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