Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
It feels like Norwich City and West Ham United are meeting at a crossroads where neither can afford to take the wrong turn. West Ham struggled to get off the ground at the very start of this season, underwhelming against both Man City and Brighton. However, things seemed to turn around against Watford, both in performance and results.
Recently promoted Norwich, on the other hand, quickly proved themselves a team not to be underestimated. They bounced back from a disappointing but understandable loss to Liverpool with a stunning win over Newcastle. To many, this was the kind of result West Ham fans expected of their second Premier League encounter.
However, while the Hammers saw improvement in the third match of the season, Norwich’s spark seemed to dim in a lacklustre performance against Chelsea, which was far worse than the respectable 3-2 result would suggest.
West Ham United vs Norwich City Prediction: West Ham 1-1 Norwich
Both teams are motivated. Norwich will know how precious momentum is and will want to stop this negative shift dead in its tracks. West Ham will be desperate to not let their first victory be a false start. Ultimately, we think this tension will lead to neither team walking away with the victory here. Norwich have done enough to prove to us that they can hang with the likes of West Ham, especially with so much on the line. Meanwhile, their opponents have too much wisdom to allow themselves to fall at this hurdle. We expect it to be tense and hard-fought but ultimately, we predict a stalemate 1-1 scoreline.
Our recommended tip: Teemu Pukki scores first
Now we have our scoreline prediction, we suppose the only question is who will be behind the goals. We’d suggest a very good possibility is Teemu Pukki. He’s the man that really set Norwich’s Premier League season ablaze with his astonishing hat-trick against Newcastle. He also managed to follow it up with a goal against Chelsea, even if they were ultimately unsuccessful. We’ve also picked him here because in each of those games, he managed to score around the 30-minute mark, meaning he’s got a very good shot – no pun intended – of being the first goalscorer if he repeats himself here. There are low-risk 9/2 odds available at Dafabet on this result.
Considering that over 70 games have taken place between these two teams since their first meeting back in 1905, it really is notable that West Ham only holds the statistical advantage by six games. But that seesaw trend is even more palpable in recent encounters. Both of their last two matches finished in a 2-2 draw – similar to what we are predicting here. Before that, they go back-and-forth, with West Ham slightly edging out Norwich in results. More than anything though, this looks too close to call. Luckily, we can always call for the draw.
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Players to watch: Sébastien Haller & Teemu Pukki
When we were predicting the first goalscorer, it was a toss up between our eventual choice and Sébastien Haller. It was only Pukki’s early match credentials which made us view him as the most likely candidate. Haller might just be the weapon that West Ham has been waiting for, and he proved his deadly credentials in his brilliant dismantling of Watford in their last Premier League outing. With similar performances, that £45 million deal is going to look like a bargain.
Considering we have him pegged as the first goalscorer, we could hardly go with anyone else for our Norwich player to watch. We’ve already covered his astonishing achievements this early on in the season, and what’s most exciting is the sense that the best is yet to come. A pivotal part of Norwich’s successful promotional season, if he can come anywhere close to matching that in the big leagues, it will be one to remember.