West Ham welcome Norwich on Saturday on match day 7 of the Premier League. The Hammers are in fine form going into the game with 4 wins in the last 6 games having beaten the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City. On the other hand, while the sailing has not been smooth for Norwich, they come into this game on the back of a heartening draw against Liverpool.
Wet Ham have enjoyed a rather smooth run of games because they are not as troubled with injuries as they were in the recent past. The club is still without the services of Alexandre Song (Ankle) and Enner Valencia (Knee) who are still nursing their respective injuries and don’t return to action till early November.
We expect Striker Gary Hooper to be back into the fold having recovered from an ankle injury. However, we are still weeks away from seeing Youssouf Mulumbu in action as he recovers from the metatarsal injury. We expect manager Alex Neil to start the same line up that was able to produce a positive result at Anfield last weekend.
This will be the 50th game between the two sides in all competitions, with West Ham having won 18 and Norwich 16 with the rest resulting in a draw.
The last time Norwich beat West Ham at Upton park in any competition was in the 1988-89 season.
Adrian, Cresswell, Reid, Tomkins, Jenkinson, Lanzini, Noble, Payet, Moses, Obiang and Sakho.
Ruddy, Whittaker, Brady, Bassong, Martin, Tettey, Howson, Redmond, Dorrans, Jarvis and Jerome.
Dimitri Payet has been phenomenal since his move to England. He has been at the heart of this brief West Ham resurgence under Slaven Bilic. They have outperformed teams and Payet has been heralded as the man to take them forward after some explosive performances. The Frenchman has so far scored 3 goals and created 19 chances, the highest from any West Ham player. In addition, he has been frequently breaking play with crucial tackles and interceptions. He likes to find spaces to run into and should he be afforded the space in the middle of the park, he could wreak havoc.
Nathan Redmond will be crucial to Norwich’s fortunes at Upton Park on Saturday. As the creative brain of this side, the winger will need to break West Ham’s defence which has not been the tightest of the lot. Playing on the right wing, Redmond will have space to work into if he can get behind Aaron Cresswell on the counter. He has scored 2 goals so far apart from creating 14 chances in 6 appearances making him the most critical attacking threat in West Hams plans. However, Redmond like many young players tends to be inconsistent and will need to shake off a rather timid individual performance against Liverpool.
West Ham finally tasted success at home with a victory over Newcastle. The side is playing some explosive football and looks well on course on improving its last place performance already. On the other hand, Norwich might have been resolute against Liverpool but they were in large measures spared by Liverpool’s lack of finishing. We expect West Ham to beat Norwich on the weekend.