By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

12th Nov, 2022 | 8:10am

Pundit: Declan Rice will have one eye on World Cup during West Ham United v Leicester City amid 'crazy situation'

We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium

Frank McAvennie is stunned that West Ham will face Leicester after the England World Cup squad was announced, as players will be worried about injury.

Gareth Southgate named his 26-man squad for the Qatar World Cup on Thursday, which included Hammers skipper Declan Rice and Leicester City playmaker James Maddison, who come up against each other in Saturday’s fixture.

And with this being the final fixture before England’s opening World Cup game against Iran a week from Monday, McAvennie feels it is “crazy” to expect players to give 100% so close to arguably the biggest moments of their careers.

There’s a point difference or something between them now,” he told West Ham Zone. “So that’ll be interesting.

“It’s a strange one because it’s only 11 days until the World Cup starts and I just don’t get why they’re still playing.

“Anyone that is announced in that squad, do they really want to kick a ball at the weekend? I don’t know if they will. I don’t know if they’ll want to go into a tackle.

“If they get injured they won’t be going to the World Cup. It’s the highlight of somebody’s career.

“I just think, wow. They announce it on Thursday and they want you to play on the Saturday. Then go to the World Cup. You’re like, really?

“I think it’s crazy that the teams got announced and there is a big game, an important game like Leicester.

“Do you think Maddison is going to be diving into tackles at the weekend? Declan? Not a chance.

“I just don’t get it. England could miss out on two players who are already in the squad. It’s a crazy situation. It’s a silly, silly situation to be in.”