West Ham vs Huddersfield preview, betting tips and predictions: Terriers could heap more misery on Slaven Bilic on home returnPublished September 7, 2017
Huddersfield to win @ 7/2 with Betfair
Draw HT/West Ham FT @ 7/2 with Betfair
Chicharito to score anytime @ 11/8 with Betfair
West Ham have been very poor in the first three Premier League games, particularly in their 3-0 loss at Newcastle before the international break. Slaven Bilic is under a huge amount of pressure even for such an early stage of the season, and in some ways they could hardly be facing a worse opponent in Huddersfield.
The Hammers play their first home game of the season on Monday night because of the World Athletics Championships. That is an understandable contributing factor to their struggles, but does not excuse how poor they have been at times. Huddersfield on the other hand have been excellent so far, winning two and drawing one of their three games and playing with no fear at the trademark high pressure of boss David Wagner’s ideology. They will come into the game with a spring in their step and face a team severely lacking in confidence with a fan base struggling for hope as well. A fast start could put West Ham on the back foot, and in Aaron Mooy and Steve Mounie, Huddersfield have some real quality on show. The way they brushed past Crystal Palace on the opening day and out manoeuvred Newcastle in their first home game suggests that 7/2 on any away win could be incredibly good value.
Especially because the pitch is so expansive at the London Stadium, meaning it is perfectly set up for Wagner’s men to take the game to their hosts.
But West Ham do have a much more experienced squad and on paper should be favourites. The longer the game goes on, the more they will grow into it, and if it is level at half time and they have survived an initial storm from Huddersfield, they should go on to win the game. They will want to start quickly themselves, but with Manuel Lanzini, their chief creative force, out injured, they may struggle to do that. It’ll be nervy and a long night, but the quality of Andre Ayew and particularly Javier Hernandez, who endured a tough afternoon at Newcastle, could help them prevail. Backing Hernandez to score at any time is always a good idea, because he is so potent even if he doesn’t get many chances.
Key battle: Aaron Mooy vs Mark Noble
West Ham lost against Newcastle partly because of the midfield battle. Even without regular quarterback Jonjo Shelvey pulling the strings, the Magpies took control of the game because Mikel Merino was not only very composed on the ball, but first to every tackle too. Noble’s real lack of mobility was exposed, particularly when youngster Declan Ryce made a mistake which led to the first goal.
In this game, it is very likely Mooy could get the better of Noble having done so against Merino when facing Newcastle. He will look to stamp his authority on rhe game, and that will be an issue for Noble if he is partnered with Ryce again. Perhaps somebody with more energy and stamina, like Pedro Obiang, would be better at marking the Australian.