The Hammers enter the weekend after going down 1-3 at home to Arsenal on Boxing Day. There were times where they looked dangerous and they were able to get the first goal, but could not hang on. This makes sense considering how little possession they had at only 34%. Despite this they did create several excellent chances and put five of their 12 shots on goal. West Ham has not gone nine out of their last ten games without a win, however, they are unbeaten in the last five matches against West Brom in all competitions.
West Brom played Tottenham to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane with similar stats to West Ham’s having only 36% possession with four of seven shots on target. This is a better result than most of their recent matches, but still leaves them seven matches without a win.
What to expect
Four of the last five meetings between these two sides have ended in a draw and this is likely to be another close encounter with both sides desperate to avoid defeat. The Baggies are without a win in 8 while West Ham have picked up just 1 point from a possible 15 and no side has won fewer games this season than these two (3 each).
Ravel Morrison missed the game against Arsenal with a groin injury and remains a doubt along with James Collins, who was forced off early in that game due to a knock. James Tomkins did play despite being arrested just a few days before the game so he may be partnered by full-back George McCartney in the middle. Razvan Rat and Guy Demel could reclaim their places at full-back while Carlton Cole should keep his place up front.
Victor Anichebe missed the game against Spurs due to a groin problem and remains a doubt as the Baggies stay in the capital this weekend. Elsewhere caretaker manager Keith Downing has a fully fit squad to choose from and after an impressive point at White Hart Lane he is unlikely to make wholesale changes. Nevertheless key players such as Mulumbu and McAuley were rested with this game in mind so they should return to the line-up.
Predicted Starting Line-Ups
The two sides could cancel each other out and draw specialists West Brom (8) may well take a second consecutive point away from home. If any team is likely to get a win, one would have to go with West Brom considering their higher conversion rate of 8% compared to West Ham’s 6% as well as the Hammer’s recent difficulties defensively, having allowed three goals in their last two matches, albeit against Manchester United and Arsenal.
West Ham United 1-1 West Bromwich Albion