Verdict: West Ham win
Best Odds: 17/20
Picking up their first victory of the new season last weekend, West Ham will look to make it two in two when they welcome Norwich to the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Starting with the hosts, while many around East London were concerned that West Ham’s 5-0 hammering against Manchester City on the opening weekend may have lead to another sluggish start, the Hammers have bounced back and the mood in their camp will be on a high. Picking up a 2-0 win over Newport County to secure their spot in the third round of this year’s EFL Cup, Manuel Pellegrini’s men also secured a 3-1 win away at Watford last weekend and the former Premier League winning boss is dreaming of a European charge at the London Stadium this season. Spending big over the summer, one new recruit who really caught the eye across London last weekend was £45million arrival, Sebastien Haller. Opening his account with a brace at Vicarage Road last time out, the former Eintracht Frankfurt striker should be confident of bagging a maiden goal at the London Stadium on Saturday. Now taking points off of both Brighton and Watford, West Ham will also be boosted by their continued success on home soil following on from last season. Despite their opening weekend defeat against the defending champions, the Hammers have lost just a pair of Premier League home matches in 2019.
The Hammers will be without the in-form Michail Antonio, after the Englishman was forced off after just seven minutes with a hamstring injury in the Carabao Cup match against Newport County on Tuesday.
As for the visitors, while Norwich may have gained a string of admirers for their display against Chelsea at Carrow Road last weekend, the Canneries eventually slumped to a 3-2 defeat and Head Coach Daniel Farke will have some growing concerns over his sides defensive issues. Although they may have already crossed paths with both Frank Lampard’s men and reigning European champions Liverpool in their opening three contests, the Yellows have already shipped eight goals, the worst record of any side in England’s top-tier so far. Also looking to bounce back after being shockingly knocked out of the EFL Cup away at League Two outfit Crawley in midweek, there is no doubt that the former Borussia Dortmund coach will be looking for attacking talisman Teemu Pukki to extend his free-scoring start to the year. Once again finding the net against Chelsea last weekend, the Finland international already has five Premier League goals to his name and will once again lead the line in East London on Saturday afternoon.
Timm Klose’s season could already be over after picking up an ACL injury while Christoph Zimmerman was forced off after receiving a knock to his back. The Canaries remain without Onel Hernandez with a knee injury while Josip Drmic could feature following a thigh problem.
Key Factors to Consider
- In the two times West Ham faced Norwich back in the 2015/2016 campaign, both matches ended with a score of 2-2.
- Teemu Pukki already has five Premier League goals in his opening three matches this season.
- West Ham have lost just two Premier League matches at the London Stadium in 2019.
- Sebastien Haller bagged a brace away at Watford last weekend.
- Five of the six combined Premier League matches between the two sides have seen both teams find the net.
While Norwich might be enjoying a high-scoring start to the year, they do appear to be showing some continued defensive issues and Saturday’s trip to the London Stadium could prove to be a tough test. With the Hammers picking up back-to-back wins and continuing to shine in East London, we’re backing Saturday’s hosts to come away with the victory in what could prove to be a lively contest this weekend.
Verdict: West Ham win
Best Odds: 17/20
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