West Ham United v Middlesbrough

30 Sep

Slaven Bilic


Defeat would mean Slaven Bilic’s side lose six of their seven opening games for the first time

TEAM NEWS

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he will give “almost” the same squad that lost at home to Southampton a chance of redemption this weekend.

Havard Nordtveit will miss the game following a minor medical procedure, while Aaron Cresswell, Andy Carroll, Andre Ayew and Diafra Sakho remain out.

Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore is pushing for a start after an impressive cameo against Tottenham.

Defender Fabio Da Silva is back in training and could feature.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Jonathan Pearce: “West Ham’s new home seems badly disconnected with their fans, and their season is desperate on all fronts.

“They’ve lost five of their opening six league games of a season for the first time ever. They are reportedly investigating claims that players were drunk this week. Their signing of Enner Valencia may now face probes after the Sam Allardyce allegations.

“Boro also look troubled. Three defeats on the spin, just five shots on target away and only two wins in 22 trips to London. The Hammers need a redemptive win to calm concerns but it’s crucial for both sides.”

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic on a club-sanctioned night out on Monday: “The team bonding was completely my idea. I told Mark Noble to take the guys out and go for a meal.

“I am totally concentrated on the game on Saturday. It is good for us all to stick together and good for team building.”

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka: “We need to improve our performances. We are learning but we have to learn quickly. When we play in our intensity and our style, and with the right attitude, we will win games.

“The players need to know that we can compete, but we must compete from the first minute.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

The Hammers looked all over the show at the back against Southampton last week.

But Boro are probably the perfect team for them to play at the moment, because they don’t pose much of an attacking threat – they have had the fewest shots per game on average of any Premier League team so far this season.

Prediction: 2-0

Lawro’s full predictions v actor & comedian Elis James

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
Aitor Karanka<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • West Ham have won their last seven Premier League home games against Middlesbrough. It’s their second longest winning streak against a Premier League opponent: they won nine in a row against Blackburn.
  • Middlesbrough have not scored more than once in an away league game at West Ham since a 2-1 victory in April 1989, managing only four goals in 14 subsequent games.

West Ham United

  • West Ham have lost five of their opening six matches of a league season for the first time.
  • They could lose five consecutive Premier League matches for the first time since May 2011.
  • Slaven Bilic’s side have conceded as many as 16 goals in their opening six games of a top-flight season for the first time since 1967-68, when they let in 18.
  • The Hammers have conceded at least two goals in 13 of their last 16 league matches, letting in 36 goals overall.
  • Dimitri Payet has lost all four Premier League games he has been involved in this season – he only lost six games in the whole of 2015-16.

Middlesbrough

  • Middlesbrough have won only one of their last 12 Premier League matches (D4, L7).
  • Boro have lost their last five Premier League away games in London.
  • Alvaro Negredo has scored in only one of his last 18 Premier League appearances.
  • Víctor Valdes has played six Premier League games (two for Manchester United, four for Middlesbrough) and never been on the winning side.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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