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West Ham vs Middlesbrough – Match Preview

The West Ham owners will be looking for the receipt to the new London Stadium after witnessing their side succumb to a second successive defeat in their new home. After a less than impressive win against Bournemouth during their housewarming party, they have seen Slaven Bilic lead his side to uninspiring defeats against both Watford and Southampton. They will hope that tide turns against Middlesbrough this afternoon.

Last Sunday saw West Ham finish their game at home to Southampton in front of rows and rows of empty seats as the Saints marched onto a 3-0 victory, by the time James Ward-Prowse had slotted home his sides third then the fans had seen enough and left for the exit door.

The pressure is beginning to mount on Slaven Bilic as that win against Bournemouth has been the only glimmer of light in what has been a disappointing start to the season, five defeats from six sees The Hammers now in 18th and that is certainly not what fans would have expected coming into the start of the campaign.

After such an impressive debut season at the West Ham helm it was only natural for expectations to be raised and in turn it was always going to be difficult to hit those heady heights once again but they have looked like a completely different outfit in their first half dozen matches.

How much can be put down to a new stadium remains to be seen and let’s not forget they aren’t playing there every week so we can’t really read too much into that, there are a number of factors at play but they do need to make the stadium work for them and not against them.

Their opponents Middlesbrough come into this game also low on form, after being unbeaten in their first three matches they are now on a run of three successive defeats. With the latest one being the 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham last Saturday.

By the time Heung-min Son was once again at the Premier League double then Aitor Karanka’s side had left themselves with too much to do and although there was a spirited second half comeback they had to make do with once again finishing a game empty handed.

The run of three defeats will no doubt be a concern to Aitor Karanka but he will come to East London today knowing that this West Ham side are very much down on the luck also and they will certainly fancy their chances of getting something out of the game.

With these two teams both looking for a first win in a long time you get the feeling that they could cancel each other out. I’m going to go for a draw, it may not be the result that either team particularly wants but at least it will bring an end to the barren runs of form. A share of the points at the London Stadium this Afternoon.

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