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Mark Lawrenson predicts West Ham v Middlesbrough

By Amir Mir

Mark Lawrenson has backed West Ham to keep a clean sheet on Saturday and beat Middlesbrough 2-0 at the London Stadium.

Aitor Karanka’s side travel to east London having lost three games on the bounce, with their opponents also struggling this season.

In contrast, Slaven Bilic’s men have conceded eleven goals in their previous three league games, as they have fallen into the relegation zone after six games with three points.

BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson believes it is the perfect time for the Hammers to play Boro, as they don’t pose “much of an attacking threat”.

“Middlesbrough have just lost three league games in a row but West Ham have outdone them with four on the trot,” Lawrenson wrote on the BBC Sport website.

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“The Hammers looked all over the show at the back against Southampton last week and, at the moment, it looks like they were playing well above themselves last season when they finished seventh.

“But Boro are probably the perfect team for them to play at the moment, because they don’t pose much of an attacking threat – with 5.8, they have had the fewest shots per game on average of any Premier League team so far this season.”

The Irons have not picked up any points since the 1-0 victory at the London stadium over Bournemouth on August 21.

Additionally, that was the same time their opponents last picked up a victory when they beat north east rivals Sunderland 2-1.

Karanka’s team are 16th in the league table, with five points from their six games, two points above the relegation zone.

In other West Ham team news, Don Hutchison has claimed these two Hammers signings are nowhere near Premier League standard.