Watford v West Ham Pundit Predictions- Can the Hammers sign off with a win?

The final day of the 2018/19 Premier League season is upon us, and West Ham will finish their engagements with this clash away at Watford. Beating the Hornets will seal a top 10 finish for Manuel Pellegrini’s men.

Javi Gracia’s Watford will have one eye on their upcoming FA Cup final against Man City- it perhaps comes as no surprise that they’ve won just once in their last five games (that too against relegated Huddersfield) once they beat Wolves in their Cup semi-final.

Let’s take a look at what the pundits have to say about this Round 38 clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro says that every time he thinks West Ham are going to kick on, they go missing. Notes that Watford will seal a top 10 finish in the top flight for the first time since 1986/87 if they avoid defeat on Sunday afternoon, and has backed the Hornets to do exactly that with his 1-1 prediction.

Celeb opponent: Lawro’s celeb opponent this weekend is hip hop star Loyle Carner, who has also chosen a 1-1 draw. [Read more…]

Nobes enjoys himself, league double over Saints & more- Talking Points from West Ham 3-0 Southampton

West Ham’s final home game of the Premier League season saw them beat Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton 3-0 at the London Stadium. Marko Arnautovic’s brace and Ryan Fredericks’ first ever league goal for the Hammers sealed victory for Manuel Pellegrini’s men on Saturday afternoon in this GW37 clash. Let’s take a look at our talking points from the game.

Mark Noble enjoys himself: The West Ham veteran enjoyed one of his best games in a Hammers jersey against the Saints. He was paired with Pedro Obiang and Manuel Lanzini in the centre of midfield, with Declan Rice, Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson missing from the starting XI.

Afforded too much time and space by Southampton, Noble bossed the midfield. It was he who pounced on Yan Valery’s error and gave a perfect pass to Marko Arnautovic for the opening goal. And it wasn’t just attack- he put in some fine tackles as well, none better than the one on Armstrong to stop a potentially dangerous Saints move just before the hour mark. [Read more…]

West Ham v Southampton Predictions- How do the pundits think the Hammers will fare against Hasenhuttl’s Saints?

West Ham will be looking to complete a league double for the third time this season when they take on Southampton in their final home game of the 18/19 season. Fulham and Newcastle are the only teams that Manuel Pellegrini’s men have beaten home and away this season, and they’ll be hoping to add Southampton to that list later this afternoon.

When the Hammers beat them at St.Mary’s in December, Saints were hovering precariously near the drop zone, but new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has achieved his primary goal of keeping them in the top flight. On the way, he’s also got his side to score the Premier League’s fastest ever goal- achieved by Shane Long against Watford.

If they beat Southampton, West Ham will also reverse a losing trend under referee Stuart Attwell- they’ve lost their last four in a row under him, including defeats to Bournemouth, THFC (Cup) and Man City this season.

What do the pundits think of this clash? Let’s take a look.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro took note of the Hammers’ fantastic achievement last weekend- they became the first team to score and win at the new Spurs stadium, and says that despite their up and down form, they should be able to sign off with a good performance in their final game of the season. Has gone for a 2-0 win for the home side. [Read more…]

Diop & Antonio among West Ham players named in Premier League Team of the Week for Round 36

It’s been a while since we saw a West Ham player in one of these lists- perhaps not surprising given the club’s indifferent form over the last few weeks. However the Hammers’ shock 1-0 win over Spurs on Saturday afternoon, which made them the first team to win at the new Tottenham Stadium, saw a number of strong performances, and several players have been rewarded with spots in the Team of the Week for GW36.

There’s a West Ham player in virtually every pundit’s Team of the Week bar Robbie Savage’s. Issa Diop, who was re-united with Fabian Balbuena in the centre of defence, and Michail Antonio, who scored the winner, were the most prominent ones, but there was room for a few other players as well.

Sol Bamba Team of the Week for Round 36 (Sky)

Bamba’s team of the week had a spot for Michail Antonio [Read more…]

Diop and Balbuena re-united, First team to win at New Spurs Stadium & More- Talking Points from Tottenham v West Ham

West Ham became the first visiting team to win at the new Spurs stadium as they secured their first away league triumph of 2019 on Saturday afternoon. Michail Antonio’s fine finish midway through the second half gave the Hammers all three points against Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

Here are our talking points from the game.

Balbuena and Diop re-united: After a long time, Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop together played as a central defensive pair. The pairing between the Paraguayan and the young French star has been one of the bright points of West Ham’s season, and they were fantastic today as the Hammers secured a rare clean sheet. Balbuena denied Vincent Janssen a late equaliser with his clearance off the line, while Diop almost scored a great individual goal, striding from his own half into the opposition box, but was denied by Lloris.

Angelo Ogbonna has his moments, but tends to be inconsistent. Balbuena and Diop are clearly the way forward.

First away team to win at the New Spurs stadium: West Ham became the first away team to win at the new Spurs stadium, and Antonio’s goal was the first the Lilywhites have conceded at this ground. Nice little pub trivia stat in favour of the Hammers, who were also the first team to win against Arsenal at the Emirates.

All the more remarkable given that the Hammers had taken just one point from 8 league games on the road prior to this clash. [Read more…]