West Brom and West Ham had to both swallow bitter pills last week after they were both on the losing side. Both managers would have felt hard done by. But despite the loss both teams will be relatively pleased with the starts they have made. West Brom currently lie in sixth place and the Hammers are only four points off the Champions League places. The clash at the Hawthorns should be a close and tense affair and with both teams happy to attack, goals shouldn’t be a worry.
West Brom’s impressive season could have been even better but three consecutive defeats have pushed them down the table. A poor half at Swansea seems to have been their undoing and now will hope to get back to winning ways in home comforts. West Ham haven’t had such a poor run of results and boast a mixed bag. A commanding win over Chelsea followed by a defeat to Liverpool will be disappoint Sam Allardyce. His side have coped well despite all the injuries to his team.
Their last visit to the Hawthorns, in February 2011, saw the Hammers claim a point despite conceding three goals before half-time.
The last three Premier League meetings between the Hammers and the Baggies have ended in a draw.
The biggest blow for West Ham will be the loss of Mohammed Diame in the midfield and his injury will force him out till January at the least. Benayoun, Andy Carroll, Jack Collison along with Ricardo Vaz Te and Alou Diarra will all also miss out. Geroge McCarntey is also a doubt after he suffered a knee injury in the past week.
West Brom also have injury concerns of their own. Regular starters Ridgewell, Yacob and Foster are all expected to be out for the game. Foster has returned to training this week after six games out but won’t be fit in time to play a part this weekend.
Kevin Nolan continues to be talisman of the team and his leadership skills have been on display this season. The top goal scorer for the Hammers this season will once again be the danger man as West Ham will look to breach Albion’s defenses.
Shane Long’s hard working nature both on and off the ball hasn’t gone unnoticed this season and has won him many admirers. The Irishman has had a return of 5 goals and 5 assists this season from the 975 minutes of action he has seen. He will be looking to get back to scoring ways this weekend once again in front of the home crowd having gone three weeks without a goal.
West Brom’s impressive home run has seen them pick up 18 points from a possible 24. The Baggies’ defence has been near watertight and has only let six goals past them this season. Steve Clarke’s organizational skills have had a big effect of the team and they look highly dangerous on the counter. West Ham though have surpassed expectations this season and they have always looked competitive in every game they have played. Both teams have the ability to score but it will come down to whose defenses are breached first .
Prediction: West Brom 2- 0 West Ham