Chris Sutton has praised Leeds United for battling their way to a point against Newcastle, and told BBC Sport that he expects Jesse Marsch’s side to beat West Ham on Wednesday.
Leeds kept only their third clean sheet of the season on Saturday. Illan Meslier produced another big display to ensure that the Whites kept the Magpies at bay.
It was a pragmatic performance from Leeds. And in truth, it was a very credible point with Eddie Howe’s side flying so high right now. But it will count for little if we do not now go and beat West Ham on Wednesday.
Sutton backs Leeds to beat West Ham
The Hammers sit one place above the relegation zone, two points below us in the table. And with the game taking place at Elland Road, it is a massive opportunity that Leeds really need to take.
West Ham have lost their last five in the Premier League. And it does appear that David Moyes is coming under real pressure.
Sutton has tentatively backed Leeds to win – though he admitted that he is not overly confident.
“Leeds gave Newcastle a decent game last time out, and defended well to get a draw. Ordinarily, I would say the way they play suits West Ham but, whatever is wrong with the Hammers, I don’t see it improving here,” he told BBC Sport, as he backed the Whites for a 2-1 win.
“David Moyes’ side have lost their past five Premier League games while only scoring twice and that lack of goals is probably their biggest problem.
“So, I am writing West Ham off here – although I’ve been wrong about them so often this season, that is probably good news for their fans.”
One win is not going to silence Marsch’s doubters. It still feels like the wins over Liverpool and Bournemouth before the World Cup break papered over some of the cracks.
Marsch is a brilliant bloke. And nothing would give the fanbase more delight than if he was able to lead the side to bigger and better things. But Wednesday could be a defining moment.
West Ham have a very good squad. So winning this week will not be easy – at all. We have lost both home games against the Irons since sealing promotion.
With the January window now open, defeat should leave the Leeds hierarchy with food for thought over a number of issues.
But that absolutely does not mean that a win should allow Marsch, Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani to relax either.