West Ham United only have one win to their name on the road this season and now face three away trips to kick-off 2023, starting with an encounter at Elland Road against Leeds United tonight.
Before they come up against Brentford again on Saturday in an all Premier League Emirates FA Cup third round tie, the Hammers will hope to bounce back from ending the year with defeat to the Bees on Friday night and try to establish some momentum in order to get their campaign up and running.
The Irons were hoping to improve their form after the break for the Qatar World Cup but so far, it has not worked out for them. They have lost both games and consequently slipped to seventeenth place in the table.
Up until last season, David Moyes had a good record against Leeds and he will hope to make amends for that home defeat just eleven days short of a year ago by achieving a first win since October 24.
The home side have changed manager since these two teams last met with Jesse Marsch having replaced Marcelo Bielsa back in February.
Although the American hasn’t yet managed to get a consistent run of form together since replacing the Argentine, he did guide the Yorkshire club to Premier League survival last campaign, as well as achieving some notable results already this season, including a goalless draw at St James’ Park against an ever improving Newcastle United outfit on New Year’s Eve.
After that result, Marsch’s side may have momentum behind them but, what could be in favour of the East Londoners here, is the fact that they have had one extra day’s preparation ahead of this game.
Should the Hammers bring all three points back to the east end, they will leapfrog their opponents and move further clear of danger
Pablo Fornals, Tomáš Souček, Thilo Kehrer and Michail Antonio were all left out of the starting line-up against Thomas Frank’s team and they could all return, although Moyes stated in his pre-match news conference on Tuesday that Antonio will face a late fitness test. Emmerson Palmieri and Angelo Ogbonna will drop back to the bench but Gianluca Scamacca will retain his place upfront. If Antonio is fit enough, then he could partner the Italian.
If Moyes decides to make further changes, then Nayef Aguerd is available and could replace Ogbonna in defence.
The match is a 7:45pm kick-off and the referee is David Coote.