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Jan 12, 2022 at 7.45pm UK
West HamWest Ham United
NorwichNorwich City
Bowen (42', 83')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: West Ham United vs. Norwich City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: West Ham United vs. Norwich City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between West Ham United and Norwich City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Since this article was published, this game has been called off due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Norwich City squad. A new date for the game will be confirmed in due course.

Match preview

The defensive issues which have recently hit West Ham have been well-documented and it is something which has the potential to prevent the Hammers from making a sustained bid for the top four.

Nevertheless, David Moyes will be equally concerned about his team's efforts in the final third, the East Londoners failing to score in games at Burnley and Arsenal.

While Moyes can be relatively satisfied with sitting in fifth position at this stage of the season, the Scot is aware that his team have been on a downward trajectory since the defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers on November 20.

Just five points have been collected from six games, their solitary victory coming against London rivals Chelsea, and there is pressure to take advantage of five winnable fixtures over Christmas and New Year, providing that they go ahead.

Leading marksman Michail Antonio has not found the back of the net for West Ham since October 24, a run which has lasted nine games.

Many of West Ham's issues are mirrored by Norwich, who have only recorded one point and scored one goal during their last five encounters.

Dean Smith has been required to cope with numerous injury and coronavirus-related absences, something which has hindered the Canaries' efforts to move outside of the relegation zone.

The postponement of the game between Burnley and Watford means that Norwich remain just three points adrift of safety, but they have played at least one game more than several of their rivals.

Norwich have won just one of their last 13 encounters with West Ham, their most recent success coming all the way back in November 2013.

West Ham United Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

West Ham United form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

Norwich City Premier League form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Smith will be forced into a reshuffle with Ozan Kabak joining the lengthy list of Norwich absentees for this match.

Jacob Sorensen may drop into the middle of the defence, particularly with Sam Byram unlikely to deputise in that position after only just returning from a long-term injury.

Kieran Dowell and Adam Idah are both pushing for recalls in the final third, with Smith having a decision to make over whether Todd Cantwell keeps his place.

With West Ham right-back Vladimir Coufal serving a one-match ban, Moyes has further issues in defence, and it could result in Harrison Ashby being handed his first start in the Premier League.

Sead Benrahma should come in for either Manuel Lanzini or Pablo Fornals in the final third, with Nikola Vlasic also in contention for a start.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Ashby, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma; Antonio

Norwich City possible starting lineup:
Krul; Aarons, Sorensen, Gibson, Williams; Gilmour, Normann, McLean; Dowell, Pukki, Cantwell

We say: West Ham United 2-1 Norwich City

Given the quick turnaround and ongoing issues with coronavirus and fatigue, this could prove to be a competitive fixture. Nevertheless, West Ham's superior quality in the final third should eventually prove decisive, potentially in the latter stages.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Premier League Table
1Manchester CityMan City21172253134053
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham21114639271237
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1810352320333
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd199463027331
8Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2061042121028
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves198471414028
10Leicester CityLeicester187473133-225
11Crystal Palace215973031-124
14Aston Villa1971112530-522
16Leeds UnitedLeeds194782137-1619
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle1918101942-2311
20Norwich CityNorwich202414844-3610
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