With Burnley visiting the London Stadium, the Claret’s fullbacks better bring their sprinting boots to catch West Ham’s Star Man in the Marquee Matchup.
The hero from the bench who served up the tantalizing ball that Craig Dawson slammed into the back of Stockport’s goal will now feature as the main man for the West Ham attack as Burnley visit the London Stadium. Jarrod Bowen is the Hammers’ star man.
Burnley will present a much more difficult test for West Ham to break down, but a soggy pitch and torrential downpour (to the extent seen against Stockport) won’t be as much of a factor. Hopefully, the Hammers can get back to their game plan of ceding possession and quickly countering.
Starting on the bench in the FA Cup match, Jarrod Bowen was only used as a late-game sub for Andriy Yarmolenko who, along with the rest of the team, couldn’t break down an extremely resilient Stockport team. Bowen’s sub led to to the only goal in the match just 15 minutes later.
Bowen is now up to four goals and three assists on the season in 18 matches played. The fixture in David Moyes’ Premier League starting XI can count this assist as his first goal involvement since November 11th where he assisted a goal against Leeds in West Ham’s 2-1 win.
Stacking up against Burnley’s 4-4-2, Bowen will have Burnley’s left-mid and left-back to contest with in this match. For the Clarets, this would likely be Robert Brady or Dwight McNeil and Erik Pieters. All three players can be physical, with the most offensive being McNeil, but Bowen has pace that blows them out of the water.
Should the midfielder get sucked in deeper, watch for Bowen to explode up the wing and cut inside to free shot from his left foot. There is no reason to believe Moyes will move away from a four-at-the-back team after three consecutive clean sheets, so Bowen will have the support of two defensive midfielders to lessen his defensive duties and a number 10 to play off on.
With Michail Antonio nearly back to full fitness, Jarrod Bowen should be able to play the speed game better than he has in recent weeks with now sold striker Sebastien Haller. Antonio’s hold up play and physicality draws in defenders opening lanes for Bowen to take advantage of. This return to play for Antonio is a huge bonus to Bowen.
Watch for the Hammers’ star man to be bombing up the right flank and instigating offence from out wide. Even though this will likely be a low-scoring affair, Bowen has the instinct to score and will surely be on the scoresheet if he gets half a chance.