The stage is once again set for West Ham United’s sublime Said Benrahma to play a key role in beating Leeds United.
When Benrahma came to West Ham last season it took him a long time to earn David Moyes’s trust.
But the two wins over Leeds went a long way to showing the Scot that the skilful Algerian is crucial to West Ham’s success against the likes of Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Stage set for sublime Said to put Leeds to the sword again
Benrahma was absolutely key to West Ham’s 2-1 win over Leeds at Elland Road last season.
West Ham should have battered Leeds by a more comfortable scoreline that day.
And it was all made possible by Benrahma’s ability on the ball and to play on the turn.
Sitting in front of Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek, Benrahma was being fed the ball and beating Leeds’ famous high-energy press.
Skilful Algerian key to beating the Leeds man-marking press
Once he had done that it opened up the whole pitch for West Ham to get at Leeds’s defence.
It was the same story in the game at the London Stadium in a 2-0 win.
And with the Premier League player of the month Michail Antonio back in action today, West Ham will be a real threat if Benrahma can produce the goods again.
Expect to see Benrahma looking to pick up those same central positions in a floating role. Last year he was dancing around the likes of Kalvin Phillips.
Hammers will be confident following last season’s double over Leeds
With Soucek and Rice backing him up, Moyes will give the attacker a touch more freedom because if and when he beats his man he will have a run at the Leeds centre-backs.
Bielsa has confirmed Leeds will be without several key players for the game against West Ham.
The Hammers have near enough a fully fit squad but have issues in the right-back area. West Ham will be without Ryan Fredericks for the match after he picked up a groin strain against Man United in midweek.