Preview: Leeds United vs. West Ham United
West Ham United will aim to end a five-game winless run in the Premier League when they travel to Elland Road to take on Leeds United on Wednesday evening.
The Hammers went down 2-0 to Brentford just before the New Year, while the hosts ended 2022 in impressive fashion, holding Newcastle United to a goalless draw.
Coming away from St James’ Park with a point in 2022 is nothing to be sniffed at, and Leeds took pride in halting Newcastle United’s charge for a Champions League place in a 0-0 stalemate on New Year’s Eve.
While the Magpies produced some wasteful finishing on the day, the efforts of Illan Meslier and Liam Cooper in particular kept Newcastle at bay, and opening 2023 in front of the Elland Road faithful is just what the doctor ordered for Jesse Marsch’s men.
A 14th-placed standing in the table is far from secure, but the Whites have a game in hand on nearly all of the teams around them – including 17th-placed West Ham and 18th-placed Nottingham Forest, who are just two points adrift of their Yorkshire counterparts.
The Whites travelled back to base rightly basking in praise for their efforts at Newcastle, but building on a paltry tally of two wins from their last 13 games is a must for Marsch if his side are to avoid being dragged into back-to-back relegation scraps.
Eleven of Leeds’ 16 points in the top flight this season have come on their own patch, but all five of their most recent meetings with London clubs have ended in defeat, and their upcoming visitors coincidentally have their own five-game losing streak to snap here.
West Ham’s period of overachievement appears to be coming to its end, and some may already be placing bets on David Moyes being the Premier League’s next managerial casualty in the wake of their fifth successive top-flight defeat at home to Brentford.
The Hammers certainly carried a threat in the final third at the London Stadium, albeit while lacking that killer instinct that Brentford possessed, as Ivan Toney pounced to prod home the opening goal before turning provider for Josh Dasilva to double the Bees’ lead just before the break.
The Europa Conference League participants are firmly in the relegation dogfight approaching the second half of the season, languishing in 17th place, and only goal difference is preventing Moyes’s side from dropping below Nottingham Forest into the bottom three at the minute.
West Ham’s miserable quintet of defeats has seen Moyes’s men concede 10 goals while finding the back of the net just twice themselves, and their away form is even more dire, as the Hammers have lost five and drawn one of their last six encounters on the road – losing each of their last three.
Throughout the whole of 2022, West Ham won a total of just three Premier League away games, but their most recent trip to Elland Road in September 2021 ended in a 2-1 success before they fell to a 3-2 home defeat to Leeds last January.
Leeds United Premier League form:
Leeds United form (all competitions):
West Ham United Premier League form:
West Ham United form (all competitions):
We say: Leeds United 0-0 West Ham United
West Ham’s propensity for away-day failures will hardly serve them well at Elland Road, but Moyes’s side have rarely capitulated defensively on the road and have plenty of competent options for change in the rearguard.
Moyes has also had an extra day to prepare his crop for Wednesday’s game, which we believe could very well end without the net rippling once amid Leeds’ propensity for failures against teams from the capital.