Having arrested a two-match losing run against Sheffield United last weekend, West Ham United will look to get back to winning ways when they welcome a struggling Newcastle United side to London Stadium tomorrow. Steve Bruce’s men have won just one game away from home so far this campaign and will have to be at their best to get anything from this fixture.
Both teams have some exciting stars, who have underperformed so far this season. But with both teams not in the best of form, this could prove to be an exciting encounter. There are a number of in-game battles that will be crucial for the result of the game.
West Ham United vs Newcastle United: 3 key battles to watch out for
Sebastien Haller vs Jamaal Lascelles
The French striker had made a decent start to life at West Ham but has not been able to find any consistency in his performances. He has failed to score in the last couple of games and will have a tough task this weekend as well, against a well-organized backline from Steve Bruce.
But it is Jamaal Lascelles that will be the real issue for Haller. Lascelles has hardly put a foot wrong this season and will be aware of the threat Haller poses. So the West Ham man will get no space or time on the ball but he does have the quality to manufacture something out of nothing which will be a danger for the Magpies.
Surely, this battle has the potential to decide the outcome of this game.
Joelinton vs Issa Diop
With just a goal to his name in the league so far this season, Joelinton has not lived up to the expectations after his big-money move in the summer. But his movement and energy in and around the box are key to Newcastle’s chances in the final third.
He is a tricky customer to deal with and will surely trouble Issa Diop, who has been a regular for Manuel Pellegrini’s side this season. Diop has usually struggled against mobile forwards but could have a tough night against the Newcastle star. Winning this battle will be crucial for any side aiming for three invaluable points this weekend.
Felipe Anderson vs De Andre Yedlin
But the most exciting battle in this game could be played out on the wing. Felipe Anderson is easily one of the most gifted players in the league and with three assists to his name so far this season, will be a big threat for the visitors. But Bruce has an experienced presence in Yedlin, who will marshal the right flank.
The Brazilian winger is full of tricks and can break the Newcastle defence with his trickery. So Yedlin needs to prevail in this battle on the flank to try and win his side a point or three.