Aston Villa v West Ham Predictions- What do the media pundits think?

Premier League football returns after the international break, with West Ham in action on Monday night against newly promoted Aston Villa. Manuel Pellegrini’s side will be looking for their fourth consecutive win across all competitions at Villa Park after having beaten Watford, Newport and Norwich in straight succession last month.

Ref watch: The referee for this game is Mike Dean. In Villa’s last season in the top flight before this one (2015/16), Dean was in charge of six of their games. They lost five of those six, and the only team against whom the Midlands outfit picked up points, as you might expect, were West Ham!

Villa will be without the key duo of Jonathan Kodjia and Trezeguet, with the former injured and the latter suspended. Here is what the big media pundits have predicted for this Round 5 clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro reckons this will be a close one, but expects Villa to make their “home advantage count”. Also says Dean Smith’s men will be up for this one after having their late equaliser against Crystal Palace disallowed.

Lawro has predicted a 2-1 win for Villa. His celeb opponents this weekend- the trio of Chelcee Grimes, Craig Mitch and Reece Parkinson however don’t expect the home side to emerge victorious, with Chelcee (2-2) and Reece (1-1) both expecting draws and Craig predicting a 2-1 win for the Hammers.

Charlie Nicholas: Over at Sky, Nicholas has made a slightly controversial statement, saying that “people are far too excited about Declan Rice“, and reckons Wilshere and Noble will be back in the starting line up. He also says he likes “what Villa have at the moment” and like Lawro, has gone for a 2-1 AVFC win. [Read more…]

Fantastic Felipe, First home goal for Yarmolenko, Cantwell miss, Haller penalty not given & more- Talking Points from West Ham v Norwich

West Ham secured their first home win of the 2019/20 Premier League season as they beat newly promoted Norwich City 2-0 at the London Stadium. The goals came from Sebastien Haller and Andriy Yarmolenko as the Hammers moved into the top half of the table in their last game before the international break.

Here are our talking points from the fixture.

Fantastic Felipe Anderson: Many will consider the second half as one of West Ham’s best ever attacking performances at the London Stadium, and Felipe Anderson was at the heart of it. The Brazilian troubled Norwich all afternoon and was virtually unplayable. West Ham went from 4 attempts at the end of the first half to 18 at full time. They only won 2-0, but on another day, it could very easily have been 5 or 6-0 to the home side.

First goal for Andriy Yarmolenko at the London Stadium: We had criticised Andriy Yarmolenko for his poor performance last weekend against Watford and for fifty minutes today, it appeared that nothing much had changed. All the Ukrainian had to show for his first half efforts was a couple of theatrical falls in the opposition box that amounted to nothing, and even the commentators called his performance “weary”

He however turned it around in the 56th minute with a well taken volley that sealed the game for the Hammers. A minute before the goal, he had hit an even better volley, but was denied by the woodwork.

His celebration with the physios and medical staff (Dom Rogan and co.) after the goal was heart warming- it showed how hard they had worked with him after last season’s horror injury. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings for West Ham against Watford- Haller excellent, Yarmolenko disappointing

Here is a look at the how major papers rated West Ham’s players in their game against Watford on Saturday. The Hammers defied the pre-game predictions of several pundits by emerging 3-1 winners at Vicarage Road.

Sebastien Haller was the star of the show for the visitors, with his two goals sinking the Hornets after a sustained spell of pressure from the home side after the interval had come to nothing. One of the papers even had “Hallerlujah” as their headline for this fixture. The French international also became the Hammers’ first TOTW representative this season. [Read more…]

West Ham star named in Premier League Team of the Week for Round 3

We didn’t have a single West Ham player feature in any pundit’s Team of the Week for the previous two rounds, but the club do finally have a representative in Round 3, thanks to their upset win over Watford at Vicarage Road.

That player is club record signing Sebastien Haller, who scored twice (including a bicycle kick) to open his Premier League account for the Hammers.

Haller appears in virtually every pundit’s Team of the Week. No other West Ham player features though- perhaps a reflection on the shaky nature of the Hammers defence and the number of chances the Hornets had, but didn’t take! [Read more…]

100th Premier League away win, poor afternoon for Yarmolenko, Miss of the Season contender & more- Five Talking Points from Watford vs West Ham

West Ham claimed their first win of the 2019/20 Premier League season and condemned Javi Gracia’s Watford to a third successive defeat as they ran out surprise 3-1 winners at Vicarage Road. Here are our talking points from the game.

100th Premier League away win & first in August since 2016: Not only was this West Ham’s 100th Premier League win on the road, it was also their first win in August in nearly three years. The Hammers, perhaps not helped by their opening fixture list in recent years (the last six seasons have all started against big name opposition) have often struggled to get going in the first month of the new season. Today was their first victory in August since a solitary Michail Antonio goal gave them victory against Bournemouth on 21 August, 2016.

None of the pre-match predictions had the Hammers winning. Four points on the road from Brighton and Watford will be highly satisfying for Manuel Pellegrini, especially given West Ham’s struggles away from home against mid table opposition in recent years.

A forgettable afternoon for Andriy Yarmolenko: The Ukranian was given his first start in the Premier League since October 2018, and didn’t quite make the most of it.

There were three major moments in the first half involving Yarmolenko- one where he could’ve ensured that Felipe Anderson’s header went in, but for some bizarre reason, simply chose to stand there, letting Watford off the hook. The second was when the Hornets scored their opening goal, with Yarmolenko guilty of ignoring his defensive duties, jogging back slowly as Watford attacked on his flank. The third was when 35 year old left back Jose Holebas beat him for pace and nearly set up a goal for the home side, forcing Pellegrini to temporarily switch Felipe Anderson to the right wing.

Yarmolenko was subbed off at half time, with Antonio taking his place. [Read more…]

Watford v West Ham Predictions- What do Messrs Lawro, Nicholas & Co. think of West Ham’s chances at Vicarage Road?

Javi Gracia’s Watford will be desperate to move off the bottom of the Premier League table when they host West Ham this weekend. The Hornets, incredible as it may sound, are the only team neither to have picked up a point nor to have to scored a goal going into Match Week 3.

Gracia has also had to contend with injury issues- Troy Deeney is a long term absentee, Doucoure and Pereyra are doubtful for this clash, while new summer Ismaila Sarr is working his way into match fitness.

West Ham, on the other hand, should have the troika of Mark Noble, Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller available for the trip to Vicarage Road.

The Hammers won this clash 4-1 when the two sides met last season. Let’s take a look at what the pundits have predicted for them this time around.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro reckons Watford “will sneak a win” and that Jack Wilshere “doesn’t look up to it” so far for the Hammers. Has gone for a 2-1 win to the Hornets. [Read more…]

Referee appointed for Watford v West Ham- Potentially good news for the Hammers?

The referee for West Ham’s Round 3 clash against Watford has been announced, and it’s the same person who was in charge when the Hammers won 4-1 at Vicarage Road on the final day of the 2018/19 season- Chris Kavanagh.

The 4-1 win was perhaps a tad flattering to West Ham, but it ensured they finished in the top ten, and saw Watford slip into the bottom half. If the Hornets had avoided defeat in that clash, it would’ve been their first top-ten finish in the top flight since Graham Taylor had managed to do so in the mid 80’s.

That fixture swung the way of the Hammers when Jose Holebas was sent off after the interval (his red card was later rescinded, thus allowing him to play in the FA Cup final). Mark Noble scored two goals that afternoon, including one from the penalty spot. Given how the Hammers midfield have struggled in the opening two weeks of the 19/20 season, a return for the veteran at Vicarage Road, potentially at the expense of Jack Wilshere, might help stabilise things in the centre of the park for the visitors. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings for West Ham against Brighton- Fab great, Jack not so much

Here is how the major newspapers and media outlets rated West Ham’s players in their Round 2 clash against Brighton at the Amex on Saturday afternoon.

Manuel Pellegrini, clearly disappointed with his side’s second half capitulation against City, rang in the changes, with five new faces in the starting XI. West Ham started with wbat looked like a 4-1-4-1, with Pablo Fornals operating on the left, Robert Snodgrass on the right, and Manuel Lanzini and Jack Wilshere on either side of Declan Rice. Somewhat surprisingly, Javier Hernandez was named as the sole striker, on his own upfront against the tall Brighton CB trio of Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk and Dan Burn.

lineup vs brighton 2019 [Read more…]

Ogbonna captain, Brighton remain unbeaten under Anthony Taylor & more- Talking Points from BHAFC v West Ham

West Ham’s first away game of the new 2019/20 Premier League season saw Manuel Pellegrini’s side draw 1-1 with Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium. Javier Hernandez put the visitors ahead just after the hour mark, only for debutant Leandro Trossard to equalise four minutes later for Albion.

Here are our talking points from the game.

Angelo Ogbonna into the starting lineup and appointed captain: Manuel Pellegrini was clearly upset with the performances of some of his players against Man City. Aaron Cresswell, captain for the season opener, went out of the 18 altogether today, with Arthur Masuaku replacing him at left back.

Another surprising omission was that of Fabian Balbuena, with Pellegrini drafting Angelo Ogbonna into the XI at the expense of the Paraguayan and also handing him the armband.

Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson were both injury enforced absentees, with Michail Antonio the fifth player to be axed.

lineup vs brighton 2019

Brighton remain unbeaten under Anthony Taylor: We had noticed before the game that Brighton had never lost a Premier League game with Anthony Taylor as referee. That record stayed intact today. [Read more…]

Brighton vs West Ham Predictions- What do pundits think of the Hammers’ chances at the Amex?

Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping to become the first West Ham manager in the Premier League era to win a top flight game away at Brighton when the two sides square off today afternoon at the Amex. The Hammers were well beaten 5-0 by Man City on the opening day of the season (6th consecutive year when their opening fixture was against top six opposition), while Brighton stunned Javi Gracia’s Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road.

It’s new Seagulls manager Graham Potter’s first home game in Sussex this afternoon, and he will be keen to continue from where his side left last weekend. Given that BHAFC have been a bit of a bogey team for West Ham over the last few years, Potter will be cautiously confident going into this clash. His task will certainly be made easier if the key Hammers duo of Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller, both suffering from knocks, do not recover in time for this fixture.

Let’s take a look at what TV and media pundits have predicted for this Brighton v Hammers clash

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro “expects a reaction” from West Ham after their loss to City at home, and has gone for a 1-1 draw here.

The referee for this game is Anthony Taylor, under whom Brighton have never lost a Premier League game. All but one of BHAFC’s PL fixtures under him have ended in draws though.

His celeb opponent this weekend, swimmer Adam Peaty, reckons this will be a goalless stalemate, and has predicted a 0-0. It’s the only game out of the ten this weekend in which Peaty doesn’t expect goals to be scored.

Charlie Nicholas: Nicholas says West Ham were punished for “turning up scared” against Man City. He however expects Manuel Pellegrini’s men to bounce back this weekend, and has gone for a 1-0 win to the Hammers. [Read more…]