West Ham United Super Fan previews Leeds United clash
This is part of a regular series from our panel of Super Fans on upcoming Leeds United games. Ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against West Ham United, we caught up with @JimMunro, Head of Editorial at LiveScore
Leeds United host West Ham United on Saturday and will be hoping to pick up their first Premier League victory of the new season.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have drawn thrice and lost twice so far, and they currently sit a point and place above the relegation zone.
They come up against a West Ham side that have won twice, drawn twice and lost once, and given their current injury woes, getting a result against the visitors would be huge.
Ahead of the game, we spoke to @JimMunro, LiveScore’s Head of Editorial, to gauge the mood amongst the away supporters.
What have you made of Leeds at the start of the season?
The fixture list hasn’t been kind, that’s for certain, so I wouldn’t take much notice of Leeds’ present league position.
You hear people talking about ‘second season syndrome’ because Leeds haven’t won a league game yet, but that’s a lazy cliché.
I do think Jack Harrison is missing the spaces created last season by his link-up play with Ezgjan Alioski. Raphinha hasn’t quite hit the levels he’s capable of yet this term. Then there’s your injury list. I’m certainly pleased to see Patrick Bamford will be missing tomorrow.
Overall though, if you look beyond the West Ham match there’s Watford, Southampton, Wolves and Norwich, very winnable fixtures.
Who will cause you the biggest issues?
I would have said Bamford, not just because of his goalscoring threat but he takes up some very intelligent positions. He can distract defenders and create space for others to exploit.
Will Rodrigo play up front? If Raphinha is passed fit to play and you have Daniel James in too, their pace could keep our full-backs Vladimir Coufal and Aaron Cresswell busy and restrict their ability to deliver some threatening crosses from swift counter-attacks.
What have you made of your start to the season?
Encouraging. Not getting carried away though. After scoring four goals in each of the opening two Premier League games, it’s been just two points from the last nine available.
We were guilty of being wasteful in a 2-2 home draw with Palace and went to sleep twice for their equalisers.
A 0-0 draw at Southampton lacked any real incident and I don’t want to relive Mark Noble’s penalty miss against Manchester United last Sunday, although we played really well overall. Beating their £350million reserves with our two-bob reserves at Old Trafford in midweek did ease some of the pain.
Who should Leeds watch out for?
Michail Antonio is the obvious answer. But keep an eye on both Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals. Their work rate is incredible.
They are constantly buzzing around the pitch, chasing people down in all areas, racing back to defend, catapulting forward whenever West Ham break.
If there’s a move leading to a goal, one of them has generally played a part in there somewhere.
Is David Moyes likely to make any big changes to the side?
Michail Antonio will return from suspension and be the one big change to the line-up that lost to Man Utd last Sunday. Still stings that one.
I’d expect Antonio to be up front with Benrahma playing behind him.
Fornals will sit on the left, Bowen on the right and Vlasic should drop to the bench.
Are there any weak links in the West Ham side you fear may get exposed?
To be honest, this is one of the strongest West Ham line-ups we’ve had for many years. David Moyes has had them working harder than any squad we’ve witnessed before in a system where everybody knows their job.
Apart from up front, he has two players for every position. Kurt Zouma had a monster of a debut last week, commanding in the air but not always so mobile with people running straight at him.
He made a very tired challenge that failed to stop Lingard from doing what he did in the final minute. But to be honest I’m amazed we convinced a current Champions League winner to join us in the first place so I’m not complaining.
Score prediction/what type of game will we see?
A fast open game with quite a few chances being created by both sides. Have a gut feeling for a 2-2 draw.
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