West Ham take on the visitors Huddersfield at “Olympic Stadium” in the matchday four of the English Premier League. The game will be played in London on Monday, September 11th.
West Ham go through a disastrous start of a season: the team sits on the last place in the elite division table with zero points earned and 2-10 goal. Slaven Bilic’s side has completely failed the summer part of the season as “The Hammers” have been broken by Newcastle Utd and Manchester United by all means while they had opportunity to get a draw on the road against Southampton, but conceded a goal at the last minute resulting in 3:2 loss. And it is clear that the club is determined to gain points, but the question is how to do that as the team has no play as such: there is a complete chaos in defense while offense, and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in particular, is rather active, still, it feels lack of support from the teammates – Pablo Zabaleta and Aaron Cresswell cannot be engaged in attacks because of great amount of hard work and the midfielders (Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang) didn’t realized so far that the season has started already. Slaven Bilic suffers not only in terms of the team’s play, but also within the squad availability: Marko Arnautovic is suspended, Cheikhou Kouyate is under question, Andre Ayew, Fernandes Edimilson and Manuel Lanzini have been injured during the break for the national sides’ clashes plus there are great doubts that Winston Reid and Andrew Carroll will manage to recover on the eve of the match. There are too many losses for such club like West Ham which have limited squad. To sum up, the side was beaten in all three encounters of the season with at least three conceded goals in each of them. West Ham stay under substantial pressure while suffering from numerous line-up hardships. “The Hammers” managed to win only two out of eight recent clashes in face of their fans and both that victories were taken with minimal margin. And it is curious why the team is considered to be the favourite (with 1.85 ratio) of the upcoming fight against Huddersfield which have recorded three clean-sheets in three encounters played in the elite division.
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David Wagner’s side highly impresses everybody by the remarkable organization and unprecedented discipline. The team’s play in defense is simply glorious. Huddersfield use active pressing, fully control the whole midfield (being the leader of the Premier league by the number of tackles), destroy the opponent’s play by the minor fouls (only Chelsea have recorded more fouls) and tough clashes. And the centre back Christopher Schindler demonstrates simply furious football being a real human machine. In other words, Huddersfield are rather inconvenient, fierce and tough side as “The Terriers” neither show meaningful football nor allow to do it their rivals as well, usually leading the game into a common fight in which they have an advantage (as there are a lot of high and strong performers in the club’s roster).
Therefore it is not surprisingly that Huddersfield earned seven points in three gameweeks without a single conceded goal from Southampton, Newcastle Utd and Crystal Palace. The hosts’ have no problems with a line-up (the key midfielder Aaron Mooy has been recovered from illness), they stay in high fighting spirit and have a well-organized play. To my mind, David Wagner’s side is underestimated as it is quite able get points from crunchy West Ham. There are too many holes in “The Hammers” defense and Huddersfield are likely to score while there are huge doubts that Slaven Bilic’s side which has been weakened by the losses will manage to find forces and opportunity to score twice in the battle against the unharmed rival.
Prediction for the match: Huddersfield to win with 0.0 Asian handicap.