Leeds and West Ham aim to bounce back after suffering defeats last time out
West Ham to win 2-1
Despite being on the receiving end of Manchester United’s full attacking power in the second half last weekend, West Ham could well have put the game to bed before half time.
On another day, they would have taken one or two of the fantastic chances that fell their way, and they would have secured three points. As it was, their three-match winning streak came to an end.
Leeds also fell to a 3-1 defeat against a side chasing a top four place, but even though Leeds took the lead after 4 minutes, it never really seemed in doubt that Chelsea would rally to victory.
Neither side should let those defeats hamper their confidence – West Ham are still within touching distance of the top four, while Leeds sit comfortably above the relegation zone for now.
Both have exciting, young attacking players meaning this match should be an entertaining way to kick off the 12th round of Premier League fixtures.
Form Guide (all comps): LLDWL
Reasons to be cheerful:
Patrick Bamford’s good form is continuing
Only face one ‘big’ team in December
Reasons to be fearful:
Last week’s defeat is now three in last five
Conceded second-high number of set pieces this season
Leeds gave as good as they got in the opening exchanges against Chelsea, with Patrick Bamford cleverly scoring first, before Chelsea hit back with full force.
Unfortunately, Leeds just cannot seem to keep the door shut at the back, conceding more goals than all but two other teams in the league. For a newly promoted side, they are scoring enough to propel them above the relegation places, but they will struggle to climb any higher with such a leaky defence.
Their opponents this weekend are also potent in attack but have managed to concede six fewer goals than Leeds, which could be crucial in this match up.
The positive news is that after this match, Manchester United represent the only big team remaining for Leeds to play this calendar year, so opportunities to pick up easier points will not be too far away.
Star Man – Patrick Bamford
The 27-year-old is such a classy finisher and with eight league goals is now level with Harry Kane.
Form Guide (all comps): LWWWL
Reasons to be cheerful
Played brilliantly in defeat to Man United
Only defeats have come against bigger teams
Reasons to be fearful
Missing a focal point up front
Must be more clinical in front of goal
What was clear in the first half against Manchester United was that West Ham desperately needed a ruthless finisher in front of goal.
Unfortunately, Sebastian Haller is not that man, despite scoring six goals in 13 appearances this season. As miss after miss let a poor Manchester United off the hook, they should really have opened an uncatchable lead.
Michail Antonio could be fit to return to the side this weekend, which would be a huge boost and provide a focal point for the likes of Bowen and Fornals to play off.
That being said, West Ham’s last two defeats have come against Liverpool and Manchester United, so their confidence will not be hit too badly.
The Hammers will fancy their chances against a Leeds side who have found it difficult to protect their own goal this season.
Star Man – Jarrod Bowen
Was electric against Man United last weekend and should have capped it off with a goal.
An entertaining match with chances at both ends
West Ham to keep things tighter than Leeds at the back
Returning Antonio could be key for Hammers
Although Leeds are at home for this fixture, this could actually work against them as their best form has come away from Elland Road. Just one win has been picked up at home, compared to three on their travels.
Similarly, West Ham fare better at home than away, so both teams could take some time to adjust and work their way into the match.
If West Ham can welcome back Antonio up front, this will be a huge boost for their chances and make them favourites to collect three points.
West Ham to win 2-1