West Ham vs Leeds: Can Hammers keep the European dream alive?

West Ham have quietly crept into European contention but the question is, can they stay there? A win over Leeds United would certainly boost their top-six ambitions.

When: Monday, March 8, 20:00 GMT

How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event

Follow the game on our score centre HERE

Best bets

Correct score West Ham 2-2 Leeds United at 12/1 (bet365)

Over 3.5 goals at 7/4 (Paddy Power)

Patrick Bamford to score anytime at 6/4 (Betfair)

Can West Ham keep up their top form in 2021?

West Ham have been making big movements in the league since the start of the year. In the 10 games they've played so far in 2021, they have managed seven wins, two losses and one draw.

The two defeats came against stiff opposition as they fell 2-1 to league leaders Man City and 3-1 to the defending champions Liverpool.

David Moyes' side have earned plaudits for their performances of late and the Hammers are fully capable of pushing for a European spot.

The loan signing of Jesse Lingard from Manchester United has proved to benefit the side. He has been in arguably the best form of his career and has been nominated for the February Player of the Month award.

West Ham have a fantastic opportunity ahead of them to leapfrog Tottenham and at least one of Everton and Chelsea with the right results, a fact that will definitely not be lost on them.

Rodrigo challenges Declan Rice for possession
Rodrigo challenges Declan Rice for possession

Last three Premier League meetings:

Leeds 1-2 West Ham (December 11, 2020)

Leeds took the lead early in the game, with Mateusz Klich converting a penalty in the sixth minute after Patrick Bamford was brought down by the West Ham keeper, Lukasz Fabianski.

It wasn't without a little controversy, however. The goal came at the second time of asking, as VAR had deemed Fabianski's save from the first attempt against the rules as he had stepped off his line.

Almost 20 minutes later, the Hammers found an equaliser from a corner that was headed home by their surprise top goal scorer, Tomas Soucek.

West Ham constantly pushed for the winning goal, coming agonisingly close multiple times.

It took a header from Angelo Ogbonna in the 80th minute to seal the victory for the Hammers. 

Leeds 1-0 West Ham (February 8, 2003)

You have to go back to the early 2000s for the last Premier League matchups between these two sides. Leeds' long absence from the top flight meant there was a 17-year gap between the last time they met.

Lee Bowyer, a key part of Leeds' success in the late 1990s, was making his return to Elland Road for the first time since his move to West Ham in the 2003 January transfer window.

West Ham were sitting in 19th place prior to the game, while Leeds were in the middle of the table at 13th.

The only goal of the game came from Seth Johnson in the 20th minute, a fine strike from outside the box that goalkeeper David James couldn't keep out despite getting his fingertips to the ball.

Leeds players celebrate Seth Johnson's goal after he opened the scoring
Leeds players celebrate Seth Johnson's goal after he opened the scoring

West Ham 3-4 Leeds (November 10, 2002)

The first time these two sides met in the 2002/03 season made for an entertaining game. 

Leeds took the lead through Nick Barmby, however they were soon pegged back by a Paulo Di Canio equaliser. Just seven minutes later, the Whites were back in front courtesy of Harry Kewell.

Right before half-time, Leeds built a three-goal advantage with a further effort from Kewell and one from Mark Viduka.

West Ham, down 4-1 at the start of the second half, came out strong. The Hammers won a penalty in the 50th minute and Di Canio stepped up to score his second goal of the game.

Trevor Sinclair added a third for the Irons with 15 minutes left, however Leeds were able to hold on to their lead until the final whistle.

Leeds United won on their last visit away to West Ham
Leeds United won on their last visit away to West Ham

Head-to-head in the Premier League

Played: 21

West Ham wins: 3

Draws: 4

Leeds wins: 14

West Ham goals: 14

Leeds goals: 35

Will Leeds provide another challenge?

Newcomers Leeds showed early on that they mean business now that they're finally back in the Premier League. Their first game of the season saw them challenge the reigning champions Liverpool at Anfield. The Whites only lost through a penalty in the 88th minute.

Since then, Leeds have enjoyed a number of spectacular results. Manager Marcelo Bielsa has instilled a team mentality that suggests one goal either way is not good enough. Consequently, it has been hard to predict what Leeds will do on any given weekend. They could either score four or concede four, or even both.

February had a mixed bag of results, with two wins and four losses from their six league games. Despite their mixed form, their currently in-form winger Raphinha has picked up a nomination for Player of the Month.

A result in their favour will see them match 10th-placed Arsenal on points but they will stay 11th due to goal difference, unless they are able to find eight goals.

Leeds have lost four of their last six games
Leeds have lost four of their last six games

Scoreline prediction: West Ham 2-2 Leeds

West Ham are looking like the stronger side more recently, however you never know what kind of a Leeds team will turn up on the day.

Both sides also have a number of injury doubts ahead of the game. For West Ham, both their goalkeepers are facing fitness issues after recovering from minor injuries. 

For Leeds, Kalvin Phillips is still looking like a doubt for the game. Rodrigo, who is coming back from injury, played on Friday night for the U-23's but is more than likely going to miss this game.

The draw seems to be the most popular bet ahead of kick off. Paddy Power are currently offering 5/2 on the result with the odds shortening. Sky Bet and bet365 are two of multiple bookmakers that are offering 13/5 for both teams to share a point.

Keeper concerns for West Ham as Fabianski could miss Leeds clash
Keeper concerns for West Ham as Fabianski could miss Leeds clash

Goalscorer bets

Raphinha is the man in top form for Leeds at the moment. He could be the bright spark that they need to get something out of this game. Unibet are offering 19/5 for him to score anytime.

On the other side, West Ham's man of the moment, Jesse Lingard, is currently 14/5 with Unibet to score anytime.

Michael Antonio is the favourite to score first. The best odds for him to do so are 5/1 with bet365. Leeds' top goalscorer, Patrick Bamford, is also a solid shout for first goalscorer. Unibet has him at 6/1 to do so.

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