West Ham United will travel to Carrow Road this weekend to take on Norwich City as they look to secure European football for the upcoming campaign.

West Ham United will lock horns with relegated side Norwich City on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League, hoping to take a step towards confirming their participation in European football for next season.

West Ham United have somewhat lost their way in the Premier League recently, as they turned their attention towards going all the way in the UEFA Europa League. However, their journey in the competition came to a halt on Thursday, with Eintracht Frankfurt eliminating them in the semi-finals. The Premier League now remains their only avenue for securing European football next term.

West Ham are currently seventh in the standings, which will guarantee a place in the Europa Conference League qualifiers. Manchester United are six points clear in sixth place, having played a game more. So, a top-six finish looks highly unlikely. And with Wolves just three points shy and having a game in hand, David Moyes’s men cannot afford any slip-ups.

But, form is not on West Ham’s side as they have failed to win each of their last five games in all competitions, losing four (D1). They have also won only one of their previous six Premier League games and will need to turn things around. And a game against a team that is already relegated could be the ideal opportunity for Moyes’s men to get back on track.

Indeed, Norwich City became the first team to be relegated from the 2021/22 Premier League after their defeat to Aston Villa. The Canaries have lost each of their previous three matches and have won just one in their last 12 in the league. With just pride left to play for for Dean Smith’s men, they will be hoping to put on a show for their fans in their final home game of the campaign.

The reverse fixture played in January had ended in a 2-0 win for West Ham United, with Jarrod Bowen bagging a double. Ahead of their latest meeting this Sunday, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.

Team News & Tactics

Norwich City

Norwich City have five absentees due to injuries, as Kenny McLean (toe), Adam Idah (knee), Josh Sargent (ankle), Andrew Omobamidele (back) and Christoph Zimmerman (groin) are all ruled out. On-loan defender Ozan Kabak has returned to his parent club after suffering a season-ending thigh injury.

Dean Smith will likely continue setting his team up in a 4-2-3-1 formation on Sunday afternoon with Tim Krul guarding the goal, as usual. He will be protected by a backline comprising Max Aarons, Grant Hanley, Ben Gibson and Dimitris Giannoulis.

They will seek further protection from the midfield duo of Christian Normann and Billy Gilmour, who will look to minimise the influence of Declan Rice. Pierre Lees-Melou will provide the forward thrust from the No. 10 role, although he will need to track back and lend support to the deeper midfielders when not in possession.

The threat from the wide areas should come from Kieran Dowell and Milot Rashica, both of whom are capable of providing a goal threat. Teemu Pukki remains the undisputed choice to lead the line for Norwich.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Krul; Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Giannoulis; Normann, Gilmour; Dowell, Lees-Melou, Rashica; Pukki

West Ham United

Angelo Ogbonna is the only West Ham United player ruled out for their trip to Norwich. The Hammers will welcome Craig Dawson back after he missed the last league defeat to Arsenal due to suspension. While the players will be spent after their midweek exertions, David Moyes will likely field his strongest XI to lock down the seventh place in the table.

Veteran star Lukasz Fabianski is the obvious pick to start between the sticks in league matches for West Ham. With Dawson available, he should line up at the heart of the defence alongside Kurt Zouma as they look to keep Teemu Pukki quiet. Vladimir Coufal and Aaron Cresswell should be the starting full-backs for the visiting side and will look to provide an attacking outlet down their respective flanks.

There is no looking past Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek in the midfield double-pivot for West Ham. The pair will be critical to the Hammers establishing a foothold in the contest against a Norwich side that will look to make a splash in their final home game. The creativity ought to come from Manuel Lanzini lining up as the No. 10 for the east London giants.

Jarrod Bowen, who has been the in-form man for West Ham United, is a guaranteed starter on the right flank, while Pablo Fornals could get the nod on the left ahead of Said Benrahma. Michail Antonio will spearhead the attack for West Ham and hope to bring an end to his long-running goal drought in the Premier League.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Lanzini, Fornals; Antonio

Key Stats

  • West Ham United are without a win in their previous four Premier League games (D1 L3), losing the last two. They have not lost three on the bounce since June 2020.
  • This is the fourth time Norwich City have been relegated before the final day of the Premier League season. They suffered the same fate in 2019/20, 2015/16 and 1994/95.
  • West Ham United are undefeated in their last 14 top-flight games against sides at the bottom of the standings (W10 D4). They have won each of their previous seven such fixtures in a row.
  • Norwich City have been on the losing side in each of their previous three Premier League meetings with West Ham, scoring none and conceding eight goals.
  • West Ham United striker Michail Antonio has netted five goals in his previous five league appearances against Norwich, including four in the Hammers’ 4-0 win on their last visit to Carrow Road. However, he has not found the back of the net in his last 14 league outings.r

Player to Watch

Jarrod Bowen

The 25-year-old Englishman has been West Ham United’s best attacking player this season, making a great impression with his lively performances from the right flank. Bowen has been involved in more Premier League goals than any other West Ham player this season (ten goals, eight assists).

In addition, he has six more goals in the cup competitions and the Europa League, indicating his quality and importance to this team. With Michail Antonio enduring a major goal drought, the onus will once again be on Bowen to produce the goods for the Hammers in the final third of the pitch when they face Norwich City.

Prediction

Norwich City 0-2 West Ham United

Norwich City have been relegated from the Premier League and do not have much left to play for. However, they will be motivated to put on a good display for their fans in their last home match of the season. But given that they have been goal-shy throughout the season, scoring the fewest number of goals (22), it is hard to see them get past a West Ham defence that will be boosted by Craig Dawson’s return.

It should be a straightforward victory for the Hammers on their visit to Carrow Road, with Jarrod Bowen likely to be the main protagonist for David Moyes’s men on Sunday.

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