West Ham VS Middlesbrough Prediction
West Ham keeps sinking and lost advantage from playing at its own “Boleyn Ground” is undoubtedly one of the key reasons for their poor form. Slaven Bilic’s side welcomes Middlesbrough as one of the bottom three teams in English Premier League standings but victory on Saturday afternoon will climb them above their current opposition. “Boro” arrives in London with just two points more from “The Hammers” and this forms one tight clash, involving two sides with purpose to avoiding position in the relegation zone for the next two weeks, at least.
West Ham vs Middlesbrough – Team News and Match Preview
West Ham United lost in four successive Premier League rounds and the only bright light from that period is the 1-0 win over Accrington Stanley in a League Cup game. However, such a victory can’t be source of huge optimism for the East Londoners and narrow success against a League Two side can’t sweep the disappointment from another early UEFA Europa League elimination (by the same opposition as in last season – Romanian Astra, by the way…), but mostly from those five defeats in six EPL games. West Ham’s defense has been subject of lots of criticism and that’s the most normal position after conceding 14 goals in only 4 games… really frustrating efforts and lot of base to comment at the legendary BBC Match of the Day show.
Middlesbrough is back on the main stream but enthusiasm of the club from North Yorkshire has been cooled down very quickly. Although they have won four points in opening two EPL rounds, Aitor Karanka’s men were returned to reality in the next few weeks after earning just one point in four matches, being eliminated from the League Cup by a Championship opposition in Fulham’s face. That disappointment was remains at the end of August and we can say that “Boro” are more interested into retaining their Premier League position, than to focus on the domestic cups. Nevertheless, their EPL focus couldn’t won them much and after the goalless draw against WBA in matchweek 3, Middlesbrough remains without a point.
West Ham vs Middlesbrough – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Squad led by the Spaniard Aitor Karanka will challenge West Ham after three consecutive defeats in which they have conceded 7 goals. Positive is that “Boro” scored in each of these matches and this includes games vs Crystal Palace (1-2), Everton (1-3) and last round’s 1-2 against Tottenham Hotspur at its own “Riverside Stadium”.
Now Middlesbrough will have to look for a way out of that negative run but bigger issues come from their previous Premier League visits against West Ham. Well, they have all been played on different venue and the Olympic Stadium in London will open a wonderful chance for Middlesbrough to end that streak from seven successive defeats when visiting West Ham in a Premier League round. Last time when Middlesbrough won something from a Premier League fixture against West Ham in London was back in April 2000, when they gained three points with a minimum victory – 1:0. It was followed by seven consecutive wins of “The Hammers” in period 2000-2009.
Anyway, Middlesbrough avoided to lose from West Ham in London but in other occasions – in a Cup game from February 2009, as well as in season 2011-12, when West Ham was a Championship member after its EPL relegation.
Relegation and West Ham in one sentence, two words which surely have not appeared in the worst thoughts of every West Ham fan in the pre-season, but reality comes with completely different matter and if Slaven Bilic’s men want to avoid any more of that, they’ll have to extend their EPL home form vs Middlesbrough. West Ham’s Croatian boss must choose its starting XI without the injured Arthur Masuaku, Aaron Cresswell, Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho, whose absence opens some serious questions. One of them is related with the position of left-back where experienced Spanish defender Alvaro Arbeloa looks as a favourite to start, while Sam Byram is expected to replace Håvard Nordtveit on the right side. Rotations were also likely in midfield and attack, where players like Manuel Lanzini and Simone Zaza are obviously underperforming and they may receive one last chance for a starting position by Bilic, but another poor performance may cost them much.
On other turn Middlesbrough is without any major absences as Grant Leadbitter and James Husband are both names in the injury list, but that’s not something new for Aitor Karanke. Middlesbrough’s boss may be tempted to include Adama Traoré in the starting lineup since his Spanish compatriot with Malian roots made really good impression after coming as a substitution against Spurs, whose’s presence has improved the attacking line of Boro in that game. The 20-year-old winger is a product of Barcelona’s academy and he may replace one of the Uruguayan attackers Gaston Ramirez/Cristian Stuani, who have been far from the required level last week. Otherwise other changes are not expected and Aitor Karanka will probably rely to the same squad he used against Tottenham.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
Alvaro Negredo, who’s the first choice on top of Middlesbrough’s attack, has scored five goals in four appearances against West Ham in all competitions and his presence looks vital here. Moreover, “Boro” will strive to benefit from West Ham’s poor defensive record, who have conceded 19 goals in home matches since April, which is more than any other Premier League team.
West Ham are favourites to return on the winning path and to escape from their current positioning but their defensive issues are tipping the scales on another betting option which we’d rather here. “Both teams to score – Yes” – West ham and Middlesbrough are very capable to meet our expectations on Saturday afternoon.
Venue: “London Stadium”, London.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick.
Possible starting lineups of West Ham and Middlesbrough
West Ham United: Adrian – Sam Byram, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, Alvaro Arbeloa – Cheikhou Kouyaté, Mark Noble – Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet – Simone Zaza. (4-2-3-1)
Middlesbrough: Víctor Valdés – George Friend, Ben Gibson, Calum Chambers, Antonio Barragán – Marten de Roon, Adam Clayton – Stewart Downing, Gastón Ramírez, Adama Traore – Alvaro Negredo. (4-2-3-1)