West Ham are reportedly finalising a winter Betway Cup mini-tournament as David Moyes devises a plan for the World Cup break.
Two weeks ago Hammers News reported David Moyes comments confirming West Ham had friendlies “semi planned” for the forthcoming World Cup break.
The Premier League season will unprecedentedly shut down after game week 16 in the second week of November.
West Ham and their 19 Premier League rivals will then take a break until Boxing Day while the Qatar World Cup takes place.
It says a lot about West Ham’s progress under Moyes in the last two-and-a-half years that they now have a squad filled with international stars.
Not all of them will be heading out to Qatar for the first ever winter World Cup, though.
Injury and selection permitting the likes of Lucas Paqueta, Thilo Kehrer, Nayef Aguerd – if he can prove his fitness in time – and Alphonse Areola will surely all be heading out to Qatar with the Brazil, Germany, Morocco and France national teams respectively.
West Ham captain Declan Rice will be one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s England squad list while Jarrod Bowen has a chance too having been named in the last squad.
Pablo Fornals will be hoping he can earn a place in Luis Enrique’s Spain squad but is also an outside shot having been in and out of the setup under the former Barcelona manager.
A host of West Ham’s players definitely won’t be flying out to the Middle East in November.
Italy trio Gianluca Scamacca, Emerson Palmieri and Angelo Ogbonna won’t be there because the Azzurri did not qualify.
It is the same story for Ivory Coast winger Maxwel Cornet, Algeria playmaker Said Benrahma, Jamaica striker Michail Antonio and Czech duo Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal.
With a number of other West Ham players not involved with their national teams there will be a sizeable contingent left behind at Rush Green.
Many other Prem clubs will be in the same boat.
Arsenal have arranged to set up base in Dubai during the World Cup and Gunners players who are eliminated will immediately rejoin Mikel Arteta’s camp there.
West Ham look likely to remain in England with Moyes notoriously preferring to remain close to home.
Having lifted the lid on plans being afoot for friendlies during the break it now seems the Scot is close to having a clearer idea of how the Hammers will navigate the unknown of this mid-season World Cup.
Because West Ham are finalising a winter Betway Cup mini-tournament as Moyes devises his plan for the World Cup break.
According to 6foot2, Moyes is planning a number of friendlies over the six-week period.
“This is thought to include a mini Knock out competition for the Betway cup that may include other Premier League clubs also keen to keep their players fit,” 6foot2 reports.
“Whether his includes a game at the London Stadium remains to be seen, a friendly game costs around £300,000 to stage to the London Stadium owners so requires a good crowd just to break even. The final details and opposition are yet to be finalised we understand.”
West Ham fans will recall that the traditional pre-season Betway Cup friendly a week before the Premier League kicks off did not take place this year.
That was due to the revamped London Stadium West Stand having not received its safety certificate in time.
And 6foot2 claims an agreement was struck to instead host it during the winter World Cup break.
Moyes is close friends with Brentford boss Thomas Frank and Hammers News understands the Bees, Crystal Palace and possibly Slaven Bilic’s Watford could be three of a number of clubs potentially in the mix to face West Ham, although nothing has – as yet – been confirmed.