West Ham will be hoping their impressive home form can help them bounce back from defeat to claim their first win in three matches against Newcastle this weekend.
The Hammers haven’t lost at the Boleyn Ground since August and in that time they have beaten the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City in front of the home faithful. However they are yet to taste victory in November, but a win over an in-form Newcastle side that have won six on the bounce in all competitions would be a perfect response.
It is vital that Sam Allardyce’s side get back to winning ways as Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham – their most likely competition for any European places up for grabs – are now just a point behind them.
Also a win over the high-flying Magpies, who are currently one point above the Irons in fifth, would be a great restorer of confidence going into their next few games. They have West Brom, Swansea, Sunderland and Leicester on the horizon and if they can get on a winning run during that spell they will be in great shape by Christmas.
DIP IN FORM?
In the 2-1 defeat to Everton last week West Ham had a poor first-half but a vibrant and dominant second, they were unlucky to lose in the end. The week previous in a 0-0 draw against a resilient Aston Villa they looked out of ideas at times and would have been disappointed not to have picked up three points.
They did rescue a point, however, after being two goals down to Stoke earlier in the month in what was a mediocre performance by their standards this season. It may be harsh to imply the Hammers are having a dip in form as they are still playing pretty well, but they need to start getting the right results on the board and punishing teams when they’re on top otherwise their confidence may begin to dwindle.
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With five key players absent last time out West Ham played better than what many would have expected, they just lacked that ruthlessness to kill the game when they were on top. They are putting in consistent, entertaining performances on the whole though, which will please the manager and fans.
Diafra Sakho, Cheikhou Kouyate and Stewart Downing could all be fit to return against Newcastle, too, which would provide a timely boost. With Sakho’s goal threat, Downing’s creativity and Kouyate’s power back in the spine of the team they will be in good shape to claim their fourth home win of the season.