This game week see’s West Ham host West Brom at the Olympic Park. When they last met, West Brom claimed the three points as they won 4-2, however the Hammers were in horrendous form around the time the two teams faced each other.
One constant coming into this fixture is the absence of Dimitri Payet from the scoresheet. The Frenchman failed to turn up at the Hawthorns and since returned to Marseille for £25m.
The Hammers are coming together collectively to deal with the loss of a key figure and will be keen to show that the recent events haven’t affected them psychologically.
Since the last two teams met, West Ham have undergone a revival of form and sit in 9th position, worries of relegation seem a thing of the past. The Hammers have won four and lost two in their last six games, beating Southampton and Crystal Palace in the process. However, a 4-0 loss to Manchester City reminds fans that they have not yet fully recovered to last season’s level.
Perhaps more impressively, Tony Pulis’ West Brom side have never considered the threat of relegation this season and instead, have been dreaming of Europe. Sitting in 8th place, the Baggies will be hoping to finish the season strongly. Their recent form has seen them take points off rivals such as Stoke City while the Baggies have also only lost one of their last six.
West Ham predicted starting XI West Brom predicted starting XI
West Ham are expected to line-up in a 4-4-2 formation this weekend to accommodate new signing Robert Snodgrass, Michail Antonio, and Sofiane Feghouli. The Hammers seem set to keep the same back four that played at Southampton. Andy Carroll, who has been in good form recently will be hoping to be on the scoresheet again this weekend.
West Brom have kept a similar side all season and for this weekend’s fixture, that is set to continue. Jake Livermore is set to line-up in a midfield trio with Darren Fletcher and James Morrison while Matt Phillips and Nacer Chadli will provide the width. The Baggies will be looking towards Salomon Rondon to be the difference in what could prove to be a tight affair.
Suspensions and Injuries
West Ham’s injury list is beginning to pile-up with the six players ruled out definitely, including Gokhan Tore and Angelo Ogbonna. Both Andy Carroll and Sam Byram are slight doubts heading into Saturday’s fixture, however, both are expected to be fit. Slaven Bilic is likely to risk Carroll as the Englishman has been in fine form and has become a key feature.
Brendan Galloway is the only player definitely out for West Brom. Tony Pulis will assess the fitness of Claudio Yacob and Jonny Evans, both players have returned from injury this week and are in contention but are not predicted to start. Otherwise, Pulis has a full squad available to him and is likely to start his strongest side.
With both teams in good form, and West Brom’s ability to grind out results against teams when they need them, expect this to be a lot tighter than the reverse fixture that saw six goals. West Brom have the physicality to deal with Carroll’s height also. West Brom 1-1 West Ham.