First away win for Hodgson, Superb Hammers team goal & more- Talking Points from West Ham 1-2 Crystal Palace

West Ham’s six game unbeaten streak was halted on Saturday evening as they slumped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace. With Leicester having lost earlier in the day to Liverpool, the Hammers could’ve potentially gone third with a victory over the Eagles, but have instead dropped to eighth going into the October international break.

Here are our talking points from this Round 8 clash at the London Stadium.

Roy Hodgson’s first away win against West Ham as manager: This was Roy Hodgson’s first away win against the Hammers in his managerial career after six previous unsuccessful attempts. Given that his side were huge underdogs coming into this clash (not one pundit thought they’d win), this was a fine achievement from the veteran gaffer.

His side were without suspended skipper Luka Milivojevic, which meant Hodgson had to give young James McCarthy his first start since the latter’s horrible leg break against Albion last year.

Palace were well organised defensively, as you’d expect a Hodgson side to be, and his introduction of Andros Townsend at the end when the score 1-1 showed he wasn’t willing to settle for a draw, but instead wanted all three points.

West Ham’s goal a thing of beauty: There weren’t too many bright spots in this GW8 clash, but the Hammers’ goal here was a thing of beauty- a goal worth watching again and again. A simply marvellous team goal- a move that began in the WHUFC half and involved quick, incisive passing to break Palace down and a superb finish from Sebastien Haller as well- the goal had a xG of just 0.14 (14 out of every 100 would score in that situation based on past evidence). Easily the best team goal of the Pellegrini era. [Read more…]

West Ham vs Crystal Palace 2019 Predictions- Media Pundits give their expected scoreline

West Ham’s first game of October sees Manuel Pellegrini’s side square off against Crystal Palace at the London Stadium. The Hammers haven’t lost in the Premier League since their opening round loss to Man City and will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven games on Saturday evening against Roy Hodgson’s men.

The Eagles will be without suspended skipper Luka Milivojevic and injured defender Mamadou Sakho. They’ve also had a good start to the season and are only a point behind West Ham in the league standings.

For West Ham, most of the team pick themselves. The only questions in front of Pellegrini will be whether to start with Manuel Lanzini and Arthur Masuaku or continue with Pablo Fornals and Aaron Cresswell.

The referee for this game is Michael Oliver- Palace have won their last three league games under him. Oliver refereed six of the Eagles’ games last season, but only two for the Hammers (the win at home against Man Utd and the draw away at Leicester).

Here is a look at what major TV and media pundits have predicted for this Game Week 8 clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro notes that both teams have done well but adds that West Ham, in particular “have impressed him”. Reckons that the home side’s attack is better than Palace’s, and has backed Manuel Pellegrini’s men to run out 2-0 winners.

Lawro’s celeb opponent for this weekend- legendary athlete Michael Johnson, has echoed the former’s prediction (2-0 to the Hammers)

Charlie Nicholas: Over at Sky, Nicholas says this is the “best West Ham side” he’s seen, and reckons they’ll take this clash 3-1, with Sebastien Haller to score at the London Stadium. [Read more…]

West Ham record with 18-19 third kit | List of games played in grey shirt

West Ham’s third kit hasn’t been very lucky for them in the current 2018/19 season. As on date, the Hammers have played four games in this grey alternate strip and haven’t won even one of them. They also failed to score in three of the four games, and the solitary goal they managed in the fourth game came from the penalty spot.

West Ham record with 2018/2019 third kit– Played 4, L3, D1, GF 1 (penalty), GA 9

All four of these games were away from home, and three of those four teams, with all due respect to them, are clubs against whom the Hammers would’ve expected to take at least a point, if not all three.

Matches in 2018-19 season played by West Ham in grey third kit

Liverpool 4-0 West Ham (August 12, 2018- GW 1)

West Ham’s first game of the season saw them beaten 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield.

Burnley 2-0 West Ham (December 30, 2018- GW 20)

The Hammers’ final game of the calendar year saw them crash to defeat at Turf Moor [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings- How did West Ham’s players fare against Crystal Palace?

West Ham halted their four game losing streak on the road across all competitions with a hard fought 1-1 win against Crystal Palace over the weekend.

The Hammers opted to field the same XI that had drawn against table toppers Liverpool. They dominated the first half, with Felipe Anderson looking unstoppable as he pulled the strings on attack. The visitors went in 1-0 ahead at the break, with Mark Noble converting from the spot after Guaita had fouled Michail Antonio in the box.

The second half was an altogether different story, with Anderson and his team mates effectively opting to park the bus as they tried to repel wave after wave of Palace attack. The Eagles finally did manage to score, with Wilfried Zaha’s shot taking a deflection off Issa Diop en route to goal. The Hammers did not even have a single shot on target after the interval, with Marko Arnautovic not really able to influence the game in the half odd hour he spent on the pitch as a second half sub. [Read more…]

Milivojevic’s potential second yellow, McArthur misses a sitter & more- Talking Points from Palace v West Ham

West Ham halted their their three game away losing streak in the Premier League by picking up a point against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. The Hammers had failed to find the back of the net against Burnley, Bournemouth and Wolves, but managed to do so at Selhurst Park, albeit from a Mark Noble penalty kick.

Let’s take a look at the talking points from this game.

Luka Milivojevic’s second half tackle on Noble when he was already on a yellow

Perhaps the biggest talking point of the game for Hammers fans. It was a challenge that should’ve seen him booked by referee Craig Pawson, and would’ve reduced Palace to ten men, and potentially broken the momentum the Eagles were building up. West Ham were also 1-0 up at that stage.

A mixed day at the office for Ryan Fredericks

Manuel Pellegrini showed great faith in Ryan Fredericks when he chose to start him at right back ahead of veteran Pablo Zabaleta against Wilfried Zaha. The Chilean opted for the player with greater pace rather the better defender, perhaps a result of James Milner’s struggles against Zaha a few weeks ago.

The first real chance of the game went to Fredericks and he was a constant threat down the right flank offensively in the first half. Defensively, he came under massive pressure in the second half, and it lead to an exchange of words between him and Angelo Ogbonna later in the game. Was subbed off six minutes from time for Zabaleta.

Fredericks was also guilty of playing Palace onside several times. An up and down day, as one might expect for one having to deal with the class of Zaha, to be fair to him. [Read more…]

Crystal Palace vs West Ham predictions- How do the pundits reckon the Hammers will fare against Roy Hodgson’s men?

West Ham will be looking to avoid a fifth successive away defeat when they meet Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon at Selhurst Park.

After a magnificent run at the beginning of December, the Hammers suffered league reverses at Turf Moor, the Vitality Stadium and Molineux respectively and were knocked out of the FA Cup away by League One outfit Wimbledon. Even worse, Manuel Pellegrini’s side failed to find the back in all three of the Premier League losses mentioned above, losing 2-0, 2-0 and 3-0 respectively.

Despite West Ham’s excellent recent record against Palace (unbeaten in the last seven games between the two sides), Roy Hodgson’s side will definitely fancy their chances of a result here. They have Christian Benteke and Michy Batshuayi available to them, and Hodgson can also call upon Wilfried Zaha after the striker decided to appeal against his suspension.

For West Ham, Marko Arnautovic is expected to return after missing the draw against Liverpool through injury. However this game will come too soon for the likes of Manuel Lanzini, Samir Nasri and Fabian Balbuena, all of whom are still recovering from their respective injuries.

Let’s take a look at what the pundits have to say about this clash [Read more…]

Stat Analysis- Referee announced for Crystal Palace v West Ham- Craig Pawson

The referee for West Ham’s game this weekend at Selhurst Park has been announced, and it’s Sheffield born Craig Pawson who will be the man in the middle for this clash.

The 39 year old has already refereed two games involving the Hammers this season- their 8-0 thrashing of Macclesfield in the Cup back in September, as well as their 2-1 win over Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton in December. That Saints game was also the last time Manuel Pellegrini’s men won on the road- they’ve lost four on the bounce since then.

Palace’s solitary game with Pawson at the helm this season saw them lose 1-0 to Chelsea in their final fixture of 2018.

Here’s an interesting stat for recent Pawson games that augurs quite well for West Ham- the last ten Premier League fixtures he’s officiated have seen the away team win 7 times. The three home wins were in the form of two Man City triumphs and one Chelsea victory. Pawson’s last game was the Everton Man City midweek clash at the Etihad, which was won by Pep Guardiola’s side as they replaced Liverpool at the top of the table. [Read more…]

Media Player Ratings- How did West Ham’s players fare against Crystal Palace?

Two delightful goals from Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson and a well taken poachers’ effort from Javier Hernandez gave West Ham their third straight Premier League win as they beat Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace 3-2 at the London Stadium.

As they had done against Cardiff, the Hammers trailed at the interval, but blew away their opponents in a strong third quarter performance. Interestingly, they have also scored three goals in each of these three wins, triumphing 3-0, 3-1 and 3-2 respectively.

Manuel Pellegrini chose to restore his defence to full strength, with Fabian Balbuena and veteran Pablo Zabaleta both coming back into the XI after sitting out the Cardiff game. Lucas Perez’s impressive game off the bench against the Bluebirds earned him a starting spot in the absence of the injured Marko Arnautovic. [Read more…]

9 Points & 9 Goals from 3 Games- Is this actually West Ham? Five Talking points from Crystal Palace game

Even though the pundits had West Ham as firm favourites against Crystal Palace, we, like many fans around us, were not sure of three points! Inconsistency has been such a hallmark of West Ham’s play in recent times- two wins from two games was fantastic, but three from three? Surely not! Palace had been so woeful against Brighton in midweek and were roundly criticised by fans and pundits alike. Roy Hodgson however named the same XI that had done duty against the Seagulls, and one thought they’d be up for this game, wanting to prove a point. Privately we thought a draw would be good enough, and at half time, after McArthur’s goal and Milivojevic hitting the bar with his free kick, most fans would’ve probably taken it. Instead, like they had done against Cardiff, West Ham blew away their opposition in the third quarter. We had suggested post the Cardiff game that Anderson and Snodgrass would be our most creative players in the absence of Arnautovic, and the duo scored fantastic goals that helped the Hammers win 3-2 in front of their biggest league crowd of the season.

Here are some talking points from the game today.

Did Andy Carroll have an impact?

Definitely yes. West Ham started with Lucas Perez and Chicharito upfront, and that combo didn’t seem to offer much on attack together, especially when the Hammers’ first half strategy was to put in cross after cross to Palace’s imposing central defensive pair of Tomkins and Sakho.

Carroll’s introduction allowed West Ham an aerial presence. Even though he didn’t do much with the ball, he always attracted defenders, which provided extra space for the likes of Anderson and Chicharito to operate. The free kick from which West Ham scored their second goal was earned by Carroll. [Read more…]

West Ham v Crystal Palace | Pre-match Pundit Predictions for the Hammers against Roy Hodgson’s men

West Ham take on Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace this weekend as they attempt to make it three consecutive league wins following victories away at Newcastle and at home against Cardiff. The fixture is a battle between two of the most well travelled gaffers in the Premier League, with Manuel Pellegrini and Hodgson having managed in fourteen different countries between them.

The referee for this game is Anthony Taylor- Palace are winless in their last seven games under him. He’s already refereed two of their games this season- the 2-1 loss away at Watford in GW3 and the 2-0 loss at Goodison Park to Everton in GW9.

Palace were very poor against ten man Brighton in midweek, and key players like Wilfried Zaha and James McArthur were scathing in their criticism of the performance, with the former calling it “nowhere near good enough” and the latter describing it as “unacceptable”. The Eagles will be looking to prove a point, but given their dreadful away record, not many fans will be optimistic of their chances at the London Stadium.

West Ham of course will be without Marko Arnautovic, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Cresswell. Fabian Balbuena is however expected to return in the heart of defence to take his place alongside Issa Diop. [Read more…]