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Match Preview: West Ham United v Leeds United

Leeds travel to London to face West Ham on the back of their first league win of the season during midweek against Hull. United have a good record against West Ham in recent years, you have to go back to November 2000 for the last time the Hammers defeated Leeds with a solitary goal from Nigel Winterburn enough to win the game.

Team News:

10 million rated Ivory Coast international Max Gradel and club captain Jonny Howson are both back in contention for the Whites after serving their one game suspensions following their dismissals against Boro. It remains to be seen how United will line up tomorrow lunch time after their impressive display on tuesday, if Gradel and Howson are both recalled then it is likely that Grayson will revert back to a 4-5-1 formation which was so successful for him last campaign. That would however be extremely harsh on goal scoring hero Ramon Nunez and United new boy Andy Keogh, who both impressed in midweek. The Leeds boss was keeping everyone guessing when he told the club's official website ' There won't be major changes. There might be one or two, there might not be any'.

With Leigh Bromby injured, it is likely that Aidy White will keep his place in the team in the back four. Luciano Becchio, Billy Paynter and Davide Somma remain injured.

For West Ham, the Leeds United wingers may be up against a familiar face with George McCartney pushing for a start since re-joining the club. Another new recruit who may feature is former Valencia and Aston Villa target man John Carew. The Hammers will definitely be without Gary O'Neil and Peter Kurucz and James Tonkins is rated at 50-50.

One to Watch:

With West Ham's squad littered with stars such as Robert Green, Scott Parker, Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble it is difficult to single out one player. However, Paddy Kisnorbo and co will have their hands full with Carlton Cole. After struggling to break through at Chelsea, the England international has really come into his own as a West Ham striker and over the last few years has been linked with moves to clubs such as Liverpool. Cole scored his first of the season against Watford during midweek and is sure to be hungry for more to fulfill the high demand of the West Ham faithful.

My Prediction:

Leeds fans everywhere, as well as the team, will have been boosted by the performance midweek. If we come away from London with a draw it will be a good result. I think it will be a 1-1 draw with the possibility of the away side sneaking it late on.

Last six meetings:

26 February 2005 - Leeds United 2-1 West Ham United
10 December 2004 - West Ham United 1-1 Leeds United
8 February 2003 - Leeds United 1-0 West Ham United
10 November 2002 - West Ham United 3-4 Leeds United
1 January 2002 - Leeds United 3-0 West Ham United
25 August 2001 - West Ham United 0-0 Leeds United

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