By George Overhill

7th Aug, 2022 | 8:25am

West Ham United season predicted by Stan Collymore ahead of Manchester City clash

Stan Collymore has predicted that West Ham will again qualify for Europe through their league position in the 2022/23 season.

Despite the late possibility of pipping Manchester United to another Europa League qualification in the previous campaign, the Hammers missed out on the competition that had reached the semi-finals of and finished seventh.

They were operating with a notably thin squad for the entire year, with just one recognised striker and injury problems in defence, so had to settle for the Europa Conference League.

Despite some frustrating blows the club has since had a strong transfer window, with perhaps the most important development being the £35.5million deal to sign Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca, but that hasn’t moved the needle enough for Collymore.

Writing on his personal Twitter account on Saturday afternoon (6 August) he put the Hammers down as finishing in the same position as last season in seventh.

In fact, the long-time Premier League striker has really pushed the boat out and tipped the top seven to be completely replicated in this campaign.

Challenge

Considering what they managed last season under David Moyes it seems hard to argue that they are now a stronger side, so they must surely be fighting to improve their league position.

Were it not for the fact that top defensive recruit Nayef Aguerd has already suffered a big injury, and they somehow lost the Amadou Onana race at the last they would no doubt at least have Man United in their sights.

The main hurdle may be the fact that the teams that finished above them last term have also strengthened, with Tottenham and Arsenal looking much more formidable outfits.

The jury has to be out on Erik Ten Hag’s side until they have played a few games, in light of their struggles to secure preferred recruits and the ongoing uncertainty around Cristiano Ronaldo.

Moyes has a lot more options than he had last year so if he can at least continue to get the same level of performance out of the players that were there before the new additions should elevate things.

The fact that Declan Rice is still at the club has almost been lost in the excitement of the incoming transfers, but cannot be overlooked as a boon.

Collymore’s prediction isn’t the most insulting, but there has to be optimism right now that West Ham can push for more, although the visit of champions Manchester City for the opener will be a big test.