Sunday 31 January 2021

Bonkers! Hammers Ready to Nail Wounded Reds

The bookies always come out on top, don't they? Today's clash between a buoyant West Ham and injury-ridden Liverpool will surely test the odds with the Hammers quoted at 7/2 against with Liverpool 7/8 on!

But with the Hammers having won their last six games and playing at full strength you'd have to question the logic behind such odds - particularly when you consider Liverpools massive defensive crisis and frequently misfiring forward line, surely this is West Ham's big chance to put one over on the current Premiership champions?

Michail Antonio looks back to full fitness and will be licking his lios at the prospect of facing Jordan Henderson and any other centre back Liverpool can find! The very fact that Winston Reid has emerged as a possible stop gap for Liverpool emphasises the extent of their injury woes.

But West ham will need to approach the game with an offensive mindset if they are capitalise upon Liverpool's weakness. It is encouraging how the Hammers have increased their percentage possession stats of late and are not just a counterattacking side. Moreover, Liverpool need a win if they are to keep Man City within catching distance.

Mark Lawrenson and Michael Owen have predicted that Liverpool will win, but they would do given their club allegiances. Given that Sadio Mane is also unavailable today, Mo Salah will need to recover his form if Liverpool are to win today. Firmino also doesn't start as Klopp tries to manage the fatigue factor after their efforts against Spurs on Thursday night. 

The Hammers cannot field new signing Jessie Lingard but young Irish prospect Mipo Odubeko is on the bench. Odubeko has been in fantastic form for the U23s for whom he scored twice in midweek. Otherwise with Yarmolenko and Lanzini on the bench the Hammers have plenty of options if they need to shake things up. 

We are going to put ourselves on the line and predict that West ham will win by two goals! This is a big opportunity for the Hammers to break a nine game winlesss streak against the Reds. 

Saturday 23 January 2021

Y'all Ready for a Whoopin'?


David Moyes has opted for a strong starting XI and instructed his side to try to win the FA Cup for Captain Claret, Mark Noble. Even better, he has got plenty of big guns on the bench just in case Doncaster Rovers spring a surprise or two!

On the back of three straight wins, Moyes men will be full of confidence but will be wary of their League One opponents having struggled to overcome Stockport County in the third round, albeit on a very wet pitch. 

There's no place for Mipo Odubeko as the youngster recenty tested both positive and then negative for COVID and has been in isolation. It's better news for Jamal Baptiste and Oladapo Afolayan who are on the bench and could make their Hammers debuts.

Doncaster are flying high in League one, fourth and have won 5 of their last six games and will relish the chance to strut their stuff at the London Stadium. In short, don't expect a whoopin'!

The Hammers are 1/10 on while Doncaster are 11/2.

Kick off is at 3PM. 

West Ham starting XI: Fabianski, Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Johnson, Noble, Soucek, Benrahma, Lanzini, Yarmolenko.

Subs: Trott (GK), Coufal, Cresswell, Dawson, Ogbonna, Baptiste, Rice, Afolayan, Antonio

Tuesday 19 January 2021

Trump Pardons Ex-Hammers as Irons consider swoop for Mount

The final day of the US presidency is traditionally punctuated by a raft of pardons decreed by the outgoing premier. Despite the unconventional nature of much of his presidency, Donny 'Big balls' Trump has stuck with tradition and pardoned a host of vagabonds and scoundrels.

All of which is great news for Dimitri Payet, Jermain Defoe and Marko Arnautovic who will no longer need to spend every waking moment fearing the wrath of the Hammers faithful. Meanwhile, Paul Ince has been deemed to have served his time and therefore no longer warrants a pardon.

However, there was no such joy for Frank Lampard who has been cruelly overlooked by Mr Trump. Lamps will have to serve out his time in the shambolic hell that is Stamford Bridge and even worse has recently been assigned a new cellmate in Avram Grant. 

The pair of callous perpetrators were forced to endure the harsh punishment of watching Chelsea being hopelessly outclassed by Leicester tonight, prompting some Hammers fans to call for leniency by  the reinstatement of the death penalty as a one off measure for the tormented pair.

Meanwhile, rumours abound that the Hammers have launched an audacious bid for Mason Mount to join his best mate Declan Rice at the London Stadium with sEx-Employee revealing " the lads want Champions League action next season and let's face it that's a lot more likely with West Ham than Chelsea right now"


Some of the key battles exposed as Hammers face Baggies

It'll be an intriguing battle tonight as Sam Allardyce returns to West ham with his West Brom side looking to topple David Moyes 'new' Hammers. The Baggies will be buoyed by their weekend win against Wolves which underlined how Big Sam can change also rans into survivalists. Suddenly West Brom have hope and that can be a powerful energy in football. 

However, David Moyes is one manager who has what it takes to manage the Allardyce method as he also subscribes to the keep it tight and take your chances when they come school of tactics. Moyes has an impressive record against Big Sam over the tears and will be well prepared for the Baggies.

The Baggies have been leaky at the back with the worst goals conceded (41) and negative goal difference (-27) in the league. The Hammers meanwhile, have discovered how to defend in a sequence of games dating back over January where the Irons have learned to keep clean sheets in a way that would make Big Sam proud!

Having lost just two of their last nine games - both unluckily against Man Utd and Chelsea, the Hammers have not conceded in their last 5 games, which must be close to a record for the club! Central to the recent shut out at the back has been the arrival of Craig Dawson. Many Hammers fans raised an eyebrow when the ex-Baggie arrived but he has been no Roger Johnson as a string of excellent performances has Issa Diop and Fabien Balbuena wondering how they can get back ibto the frame for a starting berth at centre back!

A key tussle will be in midfield where the Rice-Soucek partnership will expect to dominate. Out wide, the Baggies will hope that ex-Hammers Diangana and Snodgrass can outperform Bowen and Benrahma. The expensive Hammers wide men have underperformed with Benrahma yet to score for his new club, while Bowen was the subject of much criticism after his 17 possession turnovers against Burnley on Saturday. Tonight represents a big opportunity to underline that they are an upgrade from Snoddy and Diangana!

In truth, the Baggies were very fortunate in getting two soft penalties against Wolves to grab only their secobd win of the season, while West ham could and should have beaten Burnley by more than a single goal. As Antonio gets closer to full fitness they will make more of their chances but he may find another game coming just 3 days after a full 90 minutes against Burnley a challenge.

Which serves to highlight the lack of attacking depth in Moyes squad as the Hammers are still searching for a replacement for Seb Haller. Moyes has been talking up the prospects of young Irish talent Adamipo Odubeko and who's to say he could star tonite.

The bookies have the Hammers at 5/8 and West Brom at 7-2. Mystic Mark Lawrenson reckons the Hammers will prevail 2-0. One wonders if SuperSlav will be watching on in interest?

Kick off is at 6pm, an unusual time so make note!


Monday 11 January 2021

It's Dowie Time!

Fred Perry, Martin Fry, Jason Manford and errr... that Iain Dowie own goal from 1996. That's what Stockport brings up in our house!

Sadly, County have slipped out of the league but tonight provides an opportunity to swoon in the limelight and go for a major giant killing coup against Premiership comfortables West Ham.

David Moyes must have sensed trouble or perhaps he is feeling that the Hammers midtable safety and squad depth allow for a decent run at the FA cup as he has chosen a strong starting XI that is mostly comprised of first tier players. 

Michail Antonio leads the line while Said Benrahma will be looking to open his Hammers account. It's more valuable game time for Ben Johnson while the bench has plenty of kids and some big impact subs in case County get a foothold. 

Let's hope we get a chance to see Irish talent Mipo Odubeko get a run. Anybody who has seen his performances since returnibg from injury will be salivating at the prospect of seeing him bring his abrasive skills to the first team

Hopefully some astute channel will have Iain Dowie giving his perspective and maybe some further clarity as to what he was thinking with that infamous bullet header! Personally, i'm convinced he momentarily forgot that he was on the defending team!

Wayne Rooney's younger brother is playing for County who are managed by Jim Gannon who played on that infamous night in 1996!

Don't ya just love the cup!


West Ham United: Randolph, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Johnson, Noble (c), Rice, Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Benrahma, Antonio

Subs: Trott, Cresswell, Alves, Baptiste, Soucek, Fornals, Holland, Bowen, Odubeko

Friday 1 January 2021

Moyes Ready to put it up to Toffees

Thank goodness 2020 is done! All in all it was not a bad year for the Hammers as we have developed on and off the pitch. David Motes has instilled some much needed grit and more than a little craft into his side and with Bowen, Benrahma, Soucek snd Coufal our squad is looking much stronger. 

Sitting comfortably in mid-table, today is one of those games that we wouldn't normally be hopeful about capturing a decent result but even though Everton are flying high, David Moyes' troops arrive with some degree of expectation as we have demonstrated that we have worked out how to get results from the likes of Everton, Wolves, Leicester etc. 

And so Moyes has picked a pretty attack-minded starting XI as Seb Haller has Bowen, Benrahma and Fornals in support. In addition, the bench has lots of good options in a recovering Antonio, Lanzini and Yarmolenko.

Kevin Friend is the match referee. Everton have lost only 3 of their last 24 efforts in this fixture and are evens for a win  while the Hammers look a decent bet at 3-1.


West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Rice (c), Souček, Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals, Haller

Subs: Randolph (GK), Antonio, Johnson, Balbuena, Diop, Noble, Snodgrass, Lanzini, Yarmolenko

Everton: Pickford, Coleman (c), Holgate, Mina, Godfrey, Doucoure, Davies, Bernard, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Olsen, Lossl, Nkounkou, Keane, Branthwaite, Gomes, Gordon, Rodriguez, Tosun