West Ham’s mini revival under David Moyes is set to be put to the test against high flying Newcastle on Saturday afternoon. The Magpies have defied the odds in the Premier League this season and currently occupy a top 4 spot ahead of more established teams such as Tottenham and Chelsea.
Despite the Saudi backed takeover of the club, Newcastle have yet to truly flex their financial muscles in the Premier League. In fact many of the club’s outstanding performers this season have either been those who were previously at the club or relatively cheap signings.
Eddie Howe’s Toon side are blessed with pace and tactical awareness which will pose an interesting strategic problem for David Moyes and his coaching team. Whether the Hammers manager chooses to persist with his recent formation change remains to be seen. If he does continue with a back three then the choice of who partners Nayef Aguerd and Angelo Ogbonna will be crucial.
My personal choice would be Ben Johnson at right centre-back, with Vladimir Coufal deployed as a right wing back. Thilo Kehrer has been shaky at best this season and often presents the opposition with at least 1 dangerous opportunity each game.
My prediction for this game is a 0-0 draw, but that is based more on Hope than expectation. The stark reality is that this game is crucial for both the club and manager.
What mini revival ? Beating Everton and Derby don’t really count. A draw from Leeds was just about acceptable. Personally, I dread the next three matches, this is the real test. Hopefully, the end of Moyes will come as soon as he loses one of them. If he doesn’t well I will shut my mouth for once and starting believing.
I’d rather see Cresswell in the back 3 and Johnson as LWB and obviously Coufal as RWB. If WH can manage a clean sheet there’s always the chance of a successful counter.