West Ham team news: Unique silver lining to Michail Antonio suspension revealed

West Ham United striker Michail Antonio

Michail Antonio's one-match suspension could prove to be a blessing in disguise for West Ham United, according to journalist Paul Brown.

Why is Antonio suspended?

Antonio will miss West Ham's Premier League clash with Manchester United on Sunday after being sent off in the Hammers' goalless draw against Southampton last weekend.

It comes as a blow to the east London club, who have built on registering a club record Premier League points tally last season by starting the new campaign with a five-match unbeaten run.

Antonio's one-match suspension means West Ham boss David Moyes is without a senior striker for Manchester United's trip to London Stadium, with the Jamaica international being the only frontman on the Hammers' books.

Reports suggest, in the absence of the 31-year-old, Moyes is likely to deploy Jarrod Bowen as the Hammers' lone striker but could also turn to Andriy Yarmolenko as both featured in the unfamiliar position in Antonio's absence last term.

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What has Paul Brown said about Antonio's absence?

Brown believes West Ham supporters should not be despondent ahead of this weekend's meeting with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United despite Antonio's absence.

Various injuries restricted Antonio to just 27 appearances last season, although he still managed to bag 10 goals and contribute five assists.

Brown thinks Antonio's previous injury problems could result in his suspension being a blessing in disguise.

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He told GMS: "There are probably some fans who say that a forced break every now and then might be a good thing for him because his fitness has never been 100 per cent really.

"David Moyes says that he's in the form of his life and he's never been fitter. That has always been the problem, keeping his hamstrings going.

"It's not the end of the world that they have lost him for the Manchester United game."

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Will West Ham miss Antonio?

In a word, yes. He goes into the weekend as the Premier League's joint-top goalscorer having found the back of the net four times.

Antonio has also registered three top flight assists, with Manchester United's Paul Pogba being the only star to have claimed more.

Antonio also wrote his name into the West Ham history books last month as he became the club's all-time Premier League top goalscorer during the 4-1 win over Leicester City.

His goalscoring exploits have not been limited to just domestic football as he also pounced on a defensive error to score in the Hammers' Europa League group stage victory against Dinamo Zagreb yesterday.

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