West Ham United v Norwich City – Saturday 3pm – London Stadium – Preview
West Ham legend Brian Dear thinks it will be an entertaining affair with plenty of goals when the Hammers face newly promoted Norwich City at the London Stadium on Saturday.
The Hammers picked up their first Premier League success of the season last weekend, largely thanks to a brace from record signing, Sebastien Haller, and with Canaries frontman, Teemu Pukki, in scintillating form – hitting the net five times in Norwich’s first three matches – Dear insisted there will be goals.
“The two managers, Manuel Pellegrini and Daniel Farke, both like to play entertaining football, and with the two strikers looking the part, the crowd could be in for a treat.
“I thought West Ham showed a little more resilience at Watford last week, weathering the storm after they conceded the goal – drawing the sting and then delivering a killer blow of their own with the two second-half goals.
“It was ruthless – an aspect Pellegrini is trying to instil into the players. They will need to adopt this tactic again this week as Norwich will see a lot of the ball and will ask plenty of questions going forward.
“I still think we have one or two issues defensively. Andre Gray took his goal well for Watford, but it came about far too easily. Certainly something the manager needs to work on.
“Saying that Issa Diop was superb, blocking and tackling as if his life depended upon it. I think Pukki will offer the West Ham defence a different type of challenge. He isn’t a one-dimensional striker. He has scored an array of different goals. He’s looking the complete package at the moment.”
But Dear was quick to praise Hammers newest hero, Haller, following his double display at Vicarage Road, adding: “He’s a strong lad – he took his goals exceptionally well. West Ham have themselves a very good player. He will score goals. It is up to those around him to create plenty of opportunities for him.
“There isn’t much between the two teams. I think we have the edge but we might need to score at least three times to take the points.”
West Ham United v Norwich City – Head to head:
West Ham United won: 28
Norwich City won: 22
Last five meetings (all competitions):
January 1, 2013 – Premier League
West Ham United 2-1 Norwich City
November 9, 2013 – Premier League
Norwich City 3-1 West Ham United
February 11, 2014 – Premier League
West Ham United 2-0 Norwich City
September 26, 2015 – Premier League
West Ham United 2-2 Norwich City
February 13, 2016 – Premier League
Norwich City 2-2 West Ham United
Brian Dear’s prediction: West Ham United 3-2 Norwich City
Jeevesie’s prediction: West Ham United 2-2 Norwich City