Lee Mason Hoodoo continues, Lawro gets prediction right & more- Five Talking points from West Ham v Watford

West Ham’s hopes of a fifth straight league win were dashed on Saturday afternoon by Watford, with Javi Gracia’s team emerging with all three points from the London Stadium. In what was a very physical game, the Hornets’ goals came through Troy Deeney (pen) and Gerard Deulofeu. West Ham certainly had their chances, but didn’t take them, unlike last weekend’s game against Fulham. Watford could’ve scored more but for the brilliance of Lukasz Fabianski, who probably didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of a 2-0 scoreline.

West Ham’s recent bad run under Lee Mason continues

When Mason was appointed as the ref for this GW18 clash, we had noted that the Hammers had lost their last four in the league under him. 4 consecutive losses became 5 as the Hornets came away with a 2-0 win.

Mark Lawrenson gets his prediction right!

Among the pre-match pundit predictions for this game, Lawro was the only one who went against the grain and predicted a Watford win. He had tipped Fulham to win last weekend, and again chose to back West Ham’s opponents for this game. Not only did Watford win, they also won by the exact same scoreline that Lawro had predicted- 2-0!

This is Lawro’s second “perfect” score this season (result + correct scoreline) after the Huddersfield game.

West Ham v Watford in the Premier League doesn’t end in a draw when the Hammers are the home side

The 11 previous top flight games at West Ham between the two sides had always produced a victor, and this one was no different.

Five of the last six games (one being a draw at Watford) between the two sides had seen the victor triumph by a two goal margin. This also ended in a two goal victory.

Few would’ve expected Man City (to Palace), Chelsea (to Leicester), and West Ham (to Watford) to lose at home on the same weekend, but GW18 has been full of surprising results.

Defeat for Declan Rice in his 50th Hammers appearance and Chicha misses out on 50 league goals

Declan Rice’s 50th Hammers appearance ended in defeat. He was also perhaps a tad below his usual standards today (but we hold the lad to really high standards given his previous performances!)

Javier Hernandez is still looking for this 50th Premier League goal, and had at least three chances to do so today, including one sitter. However none of them were converted, and Chicharito’s wait continues.

Let’s hope Fabian Balbuena’s injury isn’t too bad

Fabian Balbuena was forced to limp off with a knee injury that he suffered while conceding the first half penalty that Deeney converted. The Paraguayan’s defensive partnership with Issa Diop has been one of the highlights of West Ham’s season and fans must be praying that his injury isn’t serious.

CB is an area where the Hammers lack depth- Angelo Ogbonna can fill in, as he did today, but after him, it looks very thin. Cresswell played as part of a three man defence last season- is he good enough for a role in a two man defence? The other option would be to shift Rice, who has been excellent in midfield, to CB. With a busy and important run of fixtures coming up, West Ham need Balbuena to be fit.

Fabian Balbuena and Felipe Anderson named in Premier League Team of the Week for GW17

West Ham picked up a 2-0 win over Fulham over the weekend, rising to 9th in the table by virtue of their victory over Claudio Ranieri’s side. The Hammers, as mentioned by manager Manuel Pellegrini after the game, didn’t create too many chances, but were clinical with the few that they created.

While the likes of Garth Crooks (BBC) and Danny Mills (Sky) didn’t have any West Ham players in their TOTW, Jamie Redknapp and Robbie Savage thought a couple of Hammers did merit representation in their team. [Read more…]