Our prediction for this Premier League match:
From one of the biggest surprises of the last season’s edition of the Premier League to this year’s strugglers, West Ham have gone quite a distance in a short amount of time. Slaven Bilic’s men are sitting first below the dropping zone with just three points and a single win after six Premier League rounds. The Croatian manager is under great pressure and the game against newly-promoted Middlesbrough is therefore a must-win for the Hammers. Bilic will have plenty of problems as several first-team options are out with injury, but we are still prone to predict a home win most of all due to home advantage and with all due respect to Aitor Karanka’s men. Our prediction gains more validity having in mind that Karanka’s team are coming off from the three-game losing streak, but all in all we should witness a highly contested game between two teams who have everything to play for.
Highlighted Player (Dimitri Payet):
Dimitri Payet was born in Saint-Pierre, Reunion on 29 March 1987, but he joined Le Havre’s famous youth academy in 1999 and has since enjoyed a meteoric rise. The attacking midfielder started his professional career at Nantes, but top French clubs soon started casting admiring glances his way and he went on to represent Saint Etienne, Lille and Marseille, becoming one of Ligue 1’s leading footballers. However, it was the move to West Ham that placed Payet on the map as the Frenchman enjoyed a brilliant start to his career in England, making the PFA Player of the Year Shortlist. Some excellent performances in the Premier League persuaded France coach Didier Deschamps to reinstate Payet into his starting line-up and the midfielder paid the coach back with some scintillating displays on international stage. Excellent with the ball at his feet and very dangerous from set pieces, Payet quickly established himself as one of Europe’s top midfielders, with the likes of Barcelona, Arsenal and other top clubs now after his signature.
Highlighted Team (Middlesbrough):
Middlesbrough is a professional football club that have been balancing between the top two divisions of England’s league system in the modern history. Boro have been playing their home games at the Riverside Stadium since 1995 and their shirt colour is red. The capacity of the Riverside Stadium is 34,742. Middlesbrough impressed in the 2015/2016 Championship campaign and they did really well to secure promotion to the English top flight. Newcastle United and Sunderland are regarded as the club’s main rivals, but there is a rivalry with Leeds United as well.
Middlesbrough made it to the FA Cup final in 1997, but Chelsea proved to be a big catch for the Boro in the title game (0-2). However, the Riverside Stadium outfit did remarkably well to win the League Cup trophy in 2004, with the team beating Bolton Wanderers in the final. George Boateng, Stewart Downing, Juninho Paulista, Gareth Southgate, Jonathan Woodgate, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Tuncay Sanli and Hamilton Ricard are the star footballers who left their mark at Middlesbrough.