World Cup 2018: Which West Ham players are playing where, and when?
West Ham United’s three FIFA World Cup participants face a busy few days in Russia.
Chicharito and Cheikhou Kouyate face group-stage matches which will decide who their respective nations will face in the Round of 16, while Lukasz Fabianski will hope to be given a belated chance to impress by already-eliminated Poland.
Mexico talisman Chicharito will hope to fire El Tri to a third Group F victory out of three when the CONCACAF representatives tackle Sweden in Ekaterinburg on Wednesday afternoon, live on BBC Four.
The Hammers forward netted his record-breaking 50th international goal in Mexico’s 2-1 win over South Korea on Saturday, earning rave reviews. A win or draw against the Swedes will see the Juan Carlos Osorio’s side top their group and set up a Round of 16 clash, most likely with Serbia or Switzerland, in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday 3 July at 3pm BST.
Should Mexico lose, things get complicated!
If Mexico lose by two or more goals to Sweden and Germany defeat South Korea, they will be eliminated.
If Mexico lose 1-0, they will have an identical record to Sweden, but the Swedes will finish above Mexico on head-to-head record. However, if Germany also beat South Korea 1-0, then all three teams will finish with identical records, but Mexico would go out by virtue of having only scored one goal in total against Germany and Sweden, as opposed to their rivals’ two in matches between the three countries.
If Mexico lose and Germany both win by 2-1 scorelines, Sweden would win the group and second place would be decided by Fair Play. Mexico currently edge out Germany in that regard, but that could change if Mexico lose their discipline against the Swedes.
However, if Germany fail to win, Mexico will advance, whatever their result!
So, should Mexico lose to Sweden, but Germany fail to beat South Korea, Chicharito and company will tackle the Group E winners, most likely Brazil, in Samara on Monday 2 July at 3pm BST.
Thankfully, the situation is simpler for Kouyate and Senegal in Group H.
A draw with Colombia will see Senegal through, live on BBC One, and they will top the group if they better Japan’s result against Fabianski’s Poland, live on BBC Four.
Should Senegal top Group H, they will face the runners-up in Group G, who will be either England or Belgium, at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on Tuesday 3 July at 7pm BST.
Japan and Senegal have identical 4-3 for-against records, and the two nations drew 2-2, but Japan are currently top as their Fair Play record is better by two yellow cards.
Defeat by Colombia would mean Senegal need Japan to lose by a wider margin to Poland for the Lions of Teranga to leapfrog their Asian rivals and progress as runners-up. If they finish second, Senegal will tackle England or Belgium in Rostov-on-Don on Tuesday 2 July at 7pm BST.
Sadly for goalkeeper Fabianski, Poland were eliminated after losing 2-1 to Senegal and 3-0 to Colombia, but the West Ham new boy may be handed his first chance to impress at the World Cup after playing second-fiddle to Artur Boruc and Wojciech Szczesny at the 2006 and 2018 finals.
The Round of 16 broadcast schedule will be confirmed following the conclusion of the group stage.