Pablo Zabaleta is looking forward to playing in front of West Ham home fans for the first time
“We are all looking forward to playing in front of our supporters for the first time at home, of course. We will have more than 50,000 fans cheering us on and they will give us a massive boost when we walk on to the pitch before kick-off,” Zabaleta told the West Ham website.
“We have had great support at our away matches, but on Monday we will be at London Stadium, on our turf, and we need to use our home advantage to get the victory we need.
“I played at London Stadium last season for Manchester City and I know it is a fantastic arena. The atmosphere and sound created by the fans are really loud and I can tell you that the players really feel it on the pitch.”
The defender also speaks out about the importance of the club’s home form
“Winning your home matches is always very important. The points you collect at your own stadium will go a long way to showing how well you do in a season,” he said on the club website.
“When we won the title twice with Manchester City, both times our home form was the reason we won the Premier League. We won 18 out of 19 home games in 2012, and lost just once in 2014.
“Obviously, we are not going to match those records, but we do need to win more home games than we did last season if we are to achieve our targets this year.”
Danny Gabbidon calls on his former club to sort out their defensive problems
“Their defence is their biggest problem. The whole team looks very open at times, very easy to play against,” Gabbidon said.
“They’ve got some really good attacking players and I don’t think they’ll have too many problems scoring goals, but the amount of goals they’ve been conceding…it’s one of their main problems which Bilic hasn’t been able to solve.”
Physio Gary Lewin says he can’t wait to work at the London Stadium on Monday evening
“I am really looking forward to it. I have been over there many times to watch games and I know at times it has been difficult,” Lewin said to the Newham Recorder.
“But I was there for the Tottenham game – what an atmosphere. That was like a cup final and that is what we have to create this season.”