West Ham go into the Premier League match with Brentford in fine form having lost just once in their past twelve competitive matches.
David Moyes’ side have won three matches in succession after bouncing back from the heartbreaking league defeat to Manchester United at the London Stadium.
Brentford’s season has also got off to a good start with just one defeat so far this campaign and nine points from their opening six matches.
Ahead of the game, football.london’sBrentford writer Uzzi Majid has the lowdown on what West Ham will be coming up against on Sunday afternoon.
How have Brentford fared in the opening weeks of the season?
It’s been a superb start so far, nine points from six games is a fantastic return especially when you take into account this is the club’s first-ever Premier League season. Of course, there is a long way to go but the players are genuinely enjoying the rollercoaster so far. I was in the stands for that unforgettable night against Arsenal, and it was honestly jaw-dropping to say the least – the result wasn’t bad either.
Apart from that, it hasn’t been too bad to say the least. Away draws at Crystal Palace and Aston Villa were seen as deserved points on the road, before the first international break, then Brentford had three games in that time against Brighton, Wolves and Liverpool. I think it’s classic Brentford that the defeat came against Brighton on home soil, whilst taking four points off Wolves and Liverpool.
Whilst the Bees didn’t win, the performance against Liverpool was perhaps their best performance all season, to score three goals against a side renowned for their reliable defence was honestly surreal. With a bit more luck, another scalp will happen sooner rather than later.
Who are the players West Ham should be worried about?
Of course, Ivan Toney is the main man the Hammers will keep their beady eyes on, and it will be interesting to see how he fares against Kurt Zouma. He made Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk look ordinary last week, and given how confident he’ll feel, he will fancy his chances on Sunday.
Other players to keep an eye on are Bryan Mbeumo, who possesses great movement and has one goal to his name already, which incidentally came in Brentford’s last away win at Wolves. Rico Henry possesses plenty of pace down the left hand side as the wing back and will look to serve as an attacking outlet when possible.
Are there any injury or selection issues left to iron out ahead of the match?
No injuries as far as I’m aware – likely to be unchanged from last week. Although, Baptiste could go back in for Onyeka. Even still, I’m not expecting anything.
What will Thomas Frank be expecting from West Ham?
It doesn’t matter if Brentford are up against Liverpool or Norwich, Frank is always respectful and praiseworthy of his opponents irrespective of who they are. He will be expecting a difficult game against a side who are in Europe, and have such quality in their ranks.
Even after a Europa League game, he will expect West Ham to come out all guns blazing, especially being the home side. It’s one he will certainly take seriously if he wants to leave with something
Are there any West Ham players Brentford will be particularly wary of?
Said Benrahma will certainly be one, should he get the nod. Every Bees fan knows how much he can light up a game in a flash, especially with his dangerous right foot. We saw exactly that when he returned to Lionel Road for the pre-season friendly in July. Should he start, the right wing-back Sergi Canos will certainly need to mark and track him carefully. And of course, there is Michail Antonio who doesn’t need too much of an introduction. As we saw against Leeds, if you open that door ever so slightly, he can ruthlessly punish you as their fans found out in injury time.
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Given Brentford conceded two soft goals to Diogo Jota and Mo Salah last week, Antonio will feel any lapses will also see him benefit so it is hugely imperative Brentford manage to contain him. Jarrod Bowen is another one cutting from the right, who can make things tick in an instant. He has impressed many Hammers fans with his performances, with a move to Liverpool also being raised too. Having gone up against Adama Traore and Mo Salah, Henry will want to continue the familiar feeling to keep his opposite number quiet.
What is your score prediction?
My heart is pushing me to say another Brentford win on the road. However, a draw away against a West Ham side full of danger wouldn’t be a bad result in the slightest to take into the international break. I reckon we’ll see plenty of drama and excitement carried over from last week, in this one. I’m going to say 2-2.