A new season is upon us, and after the success of the previous campaign, you would expect West Ham fans around the globe to be in high spirits.
A sense of cautiousness – to put it lightly – however, has crept into the Hammers fanbase due to lack of activity in the transfer market, with key areas such as striker, centre-back, and centre-midfield so far being abandoned.
With the Europa League to contest in alongside the Premier League and the two domestic cup competitions, David Moyes will need extra reinforcements if the club is to have another positive season.
But looking at the smaller and much sooner picture, the Hammers’ first match is away at St James’ against a traditional bogey side in Newcastle United – the only team outside the traditional “big six” to complete the double over West Ham last season.
In the corresponding fixture last term, the Irons lost 3-2 after a disastrous first half saw them go into the break 2-0 down with Craig Dawson also sent off. Despite leveling the scores after a spirited second-half comeback, the joy was short-lived as the Magpies scored a late winner in a blow that killed West Ham’s Champions League hopes.
However, it is the start of a fresh campaign, and all of that is in the past. What do our writers at Green Street Hammers predict West Ham’s opening game result to be, and how do they think it will go?
Jeremiah: Newcastle 1-3 West Ham
While West Ham United doesn’t come across as a team that dominates opening weekend matches, they are literally on fire right now. Behind the skills of Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma, and Jarrod Bowen up front, look for the Hammers to be attacking often and early. With David Moyes not getting another striker yet, Antonio will need help to stay fit, but in this early season matchup, he will be ready to roam freely.
As for Newcastle seemed to have West Ham’s number last year, especially during the opening weekend. That history alone strikes some fear into my heart, but after the pre-season, the Hammers have just had, they are going to be a beast to contend with on Sunday afternoon. Goals from our usual suspect in Antonio, Fornals, and Benrahma will get the job done and see West Ham gets all three points from Matchday One! COME ON, YOU IRONS!
West Ham United
Alex: Newcastle 1-1 West Ham
West Ham doesn’t have a great opening day record, and this won’t be an easy game with Newcastle welcoming back a full capacity St James’ Park. Wilson and Saint-Maximin will inevitably cause problems, but with Benrahma flying in pre-season, we have threats in attack but desperately need more players. I expect a tight match.
Ben: Newcastle 1-2 West Ham
Towards the end of last season, an injury-plagued, 10-man Irons team almost pulled off a miraculous comeback versus Newcastle in one of the most bizarre matches of the season. However, that loss added to West Ham’s terrible recent record against Newcastle. Their last win against Newcastle dates back to March of 2019.
However, it is a new season, and with a new season comes a sense of hope and high expectation. With an undefeated preseason under their belts, the team has plenty of momentum and morale coming into this game.
As long as we can prevent the always dangerous Allan Saint-Maximin and the man who always bags a goal against us, Callum Wilson, from running riot on the defense, there is a chance to win this game.
Look for the likes of Saïd Benrahama and Jarrod Bowen to cause Newcastle’s defense some problems in this game with their pace and creativity, and look for one of them to set up Michail Antonio with a goal on Sunday. Having said all that, the Hammers will start the season off on the right foot in an entertaining 2-1 win! COYI!
Jimmy: Newcastle 1-3 West Ham
I think if we play anything like how we did in the preseason it’s going to be a strong year for us. Newcastle haven’t really strengthened their squad at all from last season and are rumored to be missing ASM and Wilson. This should be a strong season opener for us.
Finn: Newcastle 1-2 West Ham
The Hammers struggled last season against teams like Newcastle, who look to sit back, soak up pressure, and hit on the break. However, our attackers have been on fire over pre-season, and I’m expecting Benrahma and Bowen to cause nightmares for their defenders. We’ll need to score at least two, though, as Callum Wilson will undoubtedly get his customary goal against us. I think it will be another cagey game, but we’ll just about edge it.
Overall, a very positive set of predictions considering the Hammers’ opening day curse and their poor record against the Magpies. We will all have everything crossed that West Ham start the season off with an important three points.