West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen repeating his 2018 masterclass will be key to David Moyes beating Leeds United in the Friday night Premier League kick-off.
The Irons visit Elland Road looking to move fifth in the standings with a win, while the hosts strive to put another three points on the board having tasted victory just once in their last five top-flight fixtures.
Bowen has faced Leeds on four occasions throughout his career but only deprived Marcelo Bielsa’s side of the win once, when his brace in December 2018 tormented the Argentine in a complete performance Moyes will need to see the 23-year-old replicate.
Bielsa has been a huge advocate of Bowen’s talents from facing the Leominster-born forward in the Championship, and will hope he will not be on the receiving end this week with the forward presently West Ham’s top scorer in the Premier League with four goals.
“You know how he plays. This season we can see a lot of good attackers in every team and in most of the teams, not just those at the top. This is a very good player who unbalances the team. And he scores because he has a good shot,” Bielsa said, via quotes by Leeds Live.
“We don’t underestimate inferior opponents, so we prepare ourselves for the worst situation. In this case, he’s a great attacker but we keep working in the same strategy and keep trying to improve this.”
Leeds kept Bowen quiet the last time the West Yorkshire outfit faced the former Hull City winger, who Tigers boss Grant McCann lauds as an “exceptional” talent, but are well aware of his threat from his dazzling display in December 2018.
Bowen was the standout player as Hull shocked Elland Road to record a 2-0 win, with the 23-year-old touching almost every blade of grass as he drifted from touchline to touchline imposing himself on players Bielsa will name to face West Ham on Friday night.
Bielsa has already confirmed that from the side which lost to Hull two years ago, Luke Ayling, Ezgjan Alioski, Kalvin Phillips, Mateusz Klich and Jack Harrison will feature while Illan Meslier, Stuart Dallas, Liam Cooper, Rodrigo Moreno, Patrick Bamford and Raphinha come in.
Bowen had his way with Leeds up against Harrison and Barry Douglas, forcing Bielsa to bench the pair in the second-half, having won six of eleven ground duels and one of two aerial contests whilst netting a brace from just two shots on target, per SofaScore.
The £96,154-per-week attacker turned creator to register a key ball and delivered one cross, too, while winning one of his two dribbles, took 39 touches and forced Leeds into three fouls.
He consistently thwarted the Whites’ attacks with three clearances, blocked one shot, made four interceptions and two successful tackles, and Moyes will need to see the man he signed for £22million deliver at a similar level if West Ham are to emerge victorious on Friday night.