Manchester United v West Ham Pundit Predictions- Can the Hammers do a league double over the Red Devils?

West Ham will be looking to complete a league double over Manchester United when they square off against Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s men at Old Trafford later this evening. United have lost four of their last five under the Norwegian, and come into this fixture on the back of a midweek defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League.

West Ham were well beaten 2-0 by Chelsea last Monday. They had their moments in the game, especially in the second half, but were ultimately no match for the brilliance for Belgian forward Eden Hazard, who scored a brace.

The referee for this game is Graham Scott, under whom United have never lost a game (P3 W3). West Ham’s last game under him was that dreadful 2-0 loss to Cardiff City last month.

What do the pundits think of West Ham’s chances at Old Trafford? Let’s take a look.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro says that United’s defeat against Barca showed how far off the pace the Red Devils were in Europe, but reckons they will be too strong for the Hammers. Has gone for a 2-0 win to United. [Read more…]

Talking Points from Chelsea 2-0 West Ham- The Genius that is Eden Hazard, WHUFC formation and more!

West Ham put in a much improved show on Monday night against Chelsea, but their struggles on the road continued as Eden Hazard’s double helped the Blues pick up a 2-0 win and jump to third in the league table. Let’s take a look at our talking points from the game.

A 10/10 performance from Chelsea’s No.10: Big players often win you games. Eden Hazard was virtually untouchable here, making a mockery of the Hammers defence with a fantastic solo goal for Chelsea’s first, and an accurate finish on 90 minutes for the second. It wasn’t just scoring- some of his passes, to the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Callum Hudson-Odoi, were simply delicious, and on another day Chelsea might have been 3 or 4-0 up at half time.

If Chelsea didn’t have Hazard here, West Ham might have even managed to come away with a point from Stamford Bridge. Their performance wasn’t too bad, but Hazard was at another level, and even as an opposition supporter, you had to doff your hat to the little Belgian.

Performances like this will only drive up his fee for a potential transfer to Real Madrid in the summer.

West Ham’s tactics: Manuel Pellegrini started this game with a 4-2-3-1 that had Marko Arnautovic on the right wing and Javier Hernandez on his own upfront. Later in the first half, Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson swapped wings, with Pellegrini perhaps concerned at the Brazilian’s reluctance to track back, which resulted in plenty of space being afforded to Azpi and Hudson-Odoi down Chelsea’s right flank.

At half time, Hernandez was withdrawn for Robert Snodgrass and Arnautovic took the Mexican’s place upfront as the Hammers switched to a 4-1-4-1, a formation that saw them being a bigger threat in the second half. Rudiger and Luiz weren’t threatened by Hernandez, but had their hands full tackling Arnautovic after the interval. [Read more…]

Chelsea v West Ham predictions- What do the pundits think of the Hammers’ chances at Stamford Bridge?

West Ham will look to bounce back from what Manuel Pellegrini said was “their worst performance of the season” when they travel to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea tonight. It’s the beginning of a busy week for Maurizio Sarri’s Blues- after hosting the Hammers, they have to make the long trip eastwards to Prague to take on Slavia in the Europa League and then return home to take on Liverpool on Sunday.

Given the fixture congestion, Sarri would’ve ideally liked to rotate some first team regulars tonight. But with Arsenal’s slip up against Everton over the weekend, fourth place remains quite possible for the Blues. Chelsea have lost only once at home in the league this season, while West Ham have been very average travellers.

Let’s take a look at what the pundits have predicted for this clash? The Hammers do have a decent record against the Blues in recent years- they’ve lost only one of the last five clashes between the two sides. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings from West Ham v Everton- Another edition of the “Fab & Rice” Show

West Ham turned in a shocking performance at the London Stadium over the weekend as they were outclassed 2-0 by Everton. The likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United have found the London Stadium a tough venue to pick up points from, but Manuel Pellegrini’s side were simply not at the races as Everton emerged comfortable winners.

As it’s often happened in such games this season, Saturday was another edition of the “Fab & Rice” show- where West Ham as a team play poorly, Fabianski makes several saves to keep the scoreline respectable and Declan Rice is the best of a bad bunch of outfield players.

Lucas Perez came in for real flak- Football London termed him “useless”. The Spaniard earned a rare start, but was anonymous and was hooked soon as Pellegrini sent on early replacements in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the game. Neither Pedro Obiang nor he made any compelling reason for the manager to start them in future games. [Read more…]

Questions over 4-4-2, Defensive issues & More- Five Talking points from West Ham 0-2 Everton

Here are our talking points from West Ham’s shock 2-0 defeat at home against Everton over the weekend, described by Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini as the club’s “worst performance of the season”.

The warning signs were already there: West Ham’s performances over strugglers Cardiff and Huddersfield earlier this month were very ordinary too. The warning signs were there, but the fact that the loss against the Bluebirds was away from home (and West Ham tend to be inconsistent on the road), and the late comeback over the Terriers papered over the cracks. However this was a big jolt- a loss at home and to Everton, who like West Ham, have been up and down away from Goodison Park this season. None of the pre-match predictions from the pundits had predicted an Everton win despite them coming into this clash on the back of a victory over Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea.

Set piece defending continues to be poor: Huddersfield’s first goal in the previous game week came from a corner. Everton’s first one here came from a near identical set piece- Kurt Zouma scored, with neither Diop nor Zabaleta covering themselves in glory.

Does the 4-4-2 work for West Ham?: Pellegrini chose to start with the pair of Marko Arnautovic and Lucas Perez upfront, with Javier Hernandez, the hero of the 4-3 win over Cardiff, on the bench. Perez, apart from the brace he netted against Cardiff, has done virtually nothing in his spell here, and was literally anonymous before being hooked off. Arnautovic was a little better, but way off the heights we know he can reach. [Read more…]