After losing to Huddersfield and Spurs, a win is sorely needed. In this article, I’ll be looking at where Newcastle should exploit West Ham.
Players to exploit:
In his prime, Pablo Zabaleta was a top right back. However he’s no longer in his prime, he’s 32 and he’s not getting any quicker. If Atsu can get keep getting on the ball and running at the Argentine, Zabaleta will struggle to cope with his pace.
With Reid uncertain for the match, Fonte looks like a replacement for him. Ever since leaving Southampton, the centre half’s performances have dipped massively which leads to him being a liability. Having our wingers moving centrally may not be a bad thing to cause him more problems.
Areas to look out for:
Hernandez is a brilliant striker and a top buy for West Ham, however there is one flaw in his game. Probably his biggest weakness is that he’s a goal hanger. There was always that one kid at school who would stand right at the goal waiting for the ball and Hernandez does this very well. He isn’t the type of player that drops back into midfield and aid build up play. Putting this into practice, Newcastle should aim to cut off his support. This means defending compactly, leaving no big gaps, and most importantly closing down Lanzini.
Slaven Bilic is notoriously poor defensively and is poor at setting up a defensive line. This means Atsu and Ritchie need to be getting in behind their man and causing havoc. Dropping Gayle for either Mitrovic or Joselu might not be a bad idea as Gayle looks way off the pace. With both of those being 6ft 2+, they can cause real problems by bashing into the defenders.
Feature image credit: Joe89316