West Ham star Michail Antonio ready for must-win run in final push for Europe

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Michail Antonio says West Ham’s final three games of the season are all must-win as the Hammers make one final push for Europe.

Liverpool’s victory at Manchester United last night saw the east Londoners slip to sixth in the table - which would take them into the Europa League - but Champions League football remains possible.

West Ham are six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who are still to face Leicester City and Aston Villa and have the added distraction of FA Cup and Champions League finals. Thomas Tuchel’s side have played a game more than their London rivals, with the Hammers seeing out the season with trips to Brighton and West Brom before hosting Southampton on the final day next weekend.

“We believe that, coming into these last three matches, they are must win games for us because, mathematically, we’re not ruled out of the Champions League and are in a good position to get into Europe,” said Antonio.

“Obviously, we want to finish the season on a high because it’s been an unbelievable one, so we need to be professional until the end.”

West Ham’s run-in has been made more challenging by injury with David Moyes having to get creative to plug the hole left by Declan Rice’s absence in midfield. The 22-year-old has been out since March but the Hammers are confident he will be able to return against Brighton.

Antonio’s own return from injury saw him hit the ground running with two goals at Burnley, and the 31-year-old is now just two goals shy of equalling Paolo di Canio’s club record 47 Premier League goals.

“For two seasons now I’ve been a striker and for someone who’s not really had much of an opportunity being up front, to say I could become the all-time top Premier League goalscorer, in the amount of games I’ve played there, is just unbelievable,” Antonio told the club website.

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