Preview and Prediction
One of the most crucial matches on matchday 36 of Premier League is the battle of survival at the edge of relegation pit, The Hammers will be taking on Watford this midweek. Both are in need of points for their own safety and have the same exact points, 34 with slightly better goal aggregate on David Moyes’s side. They are only separated by three points from Bournemouth which are currently on the eighteenth in the standings. Whatever result they have, the fight for permanence in the top flight will not be over till the end of the season.
The teams’ previous matches
West Ham had been able to respond well after their stunning defeat against Burnley previously. They hammered Norwich 4-0 last weekend. Michael Antonio was the man of the match after bagging all goals in this game with one at the first half and a hat rick at the second half. This victory could help them keep their distance away from the red zone of relegation.
The Hornets also managed to secure three points while hosting Newcastle. After conceding one at the first half through Dwight Gayle’s third goals this season, Troy Deeney and Co overturned the score sheet by scoring twice from penalties. The captain Deeney himself took the penalty successfully to seal their second win in a row.
David Moyes, has been employing the same kind of formation, 4-2-3-1. Michael Antonio seems to be the main forward now instead of Sebastian Haller. He would gain support from two wide men, the youngster Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals or Manuel Lanzini whereas Mark Noble will be the anchor of their attack. However, Moyes is likely to lose Robert Snodgrass and Felipe Anderson on the bench due to their injury.
His counterpart, Nigel Pearson seems to opt for 4-2-3-1 very often too. Troy Deeney is still the main targetman supported by Danny Wellbeck and Ismael Sarr who plays wide plus Abdoulaye Drocoure as the attacking mifielder. He has been an in-form cover for the former Barcelona man, Gerard Deulofeu who is still sidelined along with Daryl Janmaat and Isaac Success.
Players to watch
Since the former Everton and Manchester United boss, David Moyes took over the command in London Stadium, Michael Antonion has thrived as a striker. He has scored eight goals and made three assists so far. Some other key figures to watch are Tomas Soucek, Jarrod Bowen and another English youngster, Declan Rice.
Watford’s defender Craig Dawson is one of the key men for their last two victories. He was the man of the match while beating Newcastle last week and has scored two goals so far. Another notable name to watch is the Senegalese Ismalia Sarr whose name becomes well-known after crushing Liverpool before the lockdown. He has contributed well this season with five goals and three assists.
West Ham vs Watford Prediction
The match will be undoubtedly even as both have the same objective. The home side might have slight advantage but their inconsistency seems to be still haunting them, proven by their loss while hosting Burnley. This is something Nigel Pearson’s men can exploit. However, both tend to rarely rotate their squad despite having some players with qualities. Therefore, they are likely to only muster a draw here.
There is no clear favourite for this game for sure. The host is priced to win at 2.40, a bit higher than the odds for a draw at 2.95. Meanwhile, Watford is in the win market at 3.56.