West Ham United take on newly-promoted Nottingham Forest at the City Ground this afternoon, with David Moyes’ side looking to pick up their first points of the season having suffered a gruelling 2-0 defeat at the hands of champions Manchester City last weekend.
That meeting at the London Stadium saw City’s marquee summer signing Erling Haaland net a clinical brace to ensure a comfortable victory for the Etihad outfit, with the hosts having been simply outplayed by such elite opposition – recording just 26.4% possession in total.
One notable high in an otherwise uncomfortable encounter was the eye-catching cameo of new arrival Gianluca Scamacca, with the imposing Italian having been a “real positive” for the east Londoners, in the words of long-serving defender, Aaron Cresswell.
The 6 foot 5 menace – who signed on a £35.5m deal from Sassuolo earlier in the window – notably won 75% of his aerial duels in that brief, 33-minute outing, showcasing just a flickering of his standout hold-up play and attacking threat.
The 23-year-old also forced opposition stopper Ederson to pull off a stunning save having powered a brilliant, bullet header towards goal, albeit with the Italian ace having been in an offside position regardless.
Even so, that moment demonstrated just what a potent force the £27m-rated gem is in attack, with the hope being that he can replicate the 16 Serie A goals that he netted last season in what was a real breakthrough campaign.
In order to do so, the “complete” marksman – as described by former Italy U21 coach Luigi Di Biagio – will need to be handed regular game time in order to adjust to life in the Premier League, with it somewhat futile to keep such a statement addition resigned to the substitutes bench.
Supporters will be hoping to see a potentially lethal partnership develop between the one-time Genoa man and current West Ham regular, Jarrod Bowen, with Scamacca likely to be the figure to shoulder the goalscoring burden alongside the Englishman.
Last season saw Bowen score 12 goals and provide ten assists in 36 league games, proving himself a real dynamic and deadly asset from his right-wing berth – subsequently earning international recognition as a result of that stunning form.
Having another lethal asset in attack will no doubt ease the pressure on the former Hull City man to perform, with Michail Antonio the only other player to have reached double figures for goals at the club last season in the league.
The latter man has endured a real dry spell in 2022, however, scoring just three league goals after the turn of the year, with doubts still remaining over his long-term suitability as a centre-forward option.
Against Forest later today then, it could represent the ideal chance to hand a start to Scamacca, as the Irons prepare to take on a side who are enjoying only their first top-flight campaign since 1999.
Excitement will be brewing at not only watching the towering hotshot in action, but also in seeing just how he does link up with the aforementioned Bowen.
That duo has the makings of being a real devastating and complete forward line, one capable of terrifying their newly-promoted opposition today.