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Premier League

  • 12 February 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 23916

West Brom - West Ham Preview: Clean bill of health for Baggies whilst Keane, Upson and Tomkins all miss out for Hammers

West Brom - West Ham Preview: Clean bill of health for Baggies whilst Keane, Upson and Tomkins all miss out for Hammers


West Brom

West Brom caretaker boss Michael Appleton says he has a full squad to choose from - after a number of players shook off injuries throughout the past week.

Graham Dorrans and Marek Cech are both in full training and Appleton expects Chris Brunt (ankle) and goalkeeper Boaz Myhill (dead leg) to be ready to play on Saturday.

None of the Baggies' international stars have reported back from midweek duty injured and Appleton has declared a full bill of health at the Hawthorns.

Possible starting XI: Myhill; Jara, Scharner, Olsson, Cech; Vela, Morrison, Brunt, Mulumbu, Thomas; Odemwingie.

West Ham

Avram Grant will be without a trio of first team players for Saturday's trip to the Hawthorns, with Robbie Keane, James Tomkins (both calf) and Matthew Upson (Achilles) all ruled out.

German midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger is unlikely to feature despite playing 60 minutes of reserve football in midweek as he steps up his comeback from a thigh injury.

The former Aston Villa player is yet to feature for the Hammers in the Premier League after picking up an injury in pre-season but it appears that he will be available for selection sooner rather than later.

Possible starting XI: Green; Jacobsen, Reid, Da Costa, Bridge; O'Neil, Parker, Noble; Ba, Piquionne, Obinna.

Baggies looking for the magic 100

West Brom entertain the Hammers on Saturday looking for two massive milestones. The Baggies have earned 99 points and scored 99 goals at home in the Premier League so will be hoping to make it 100 on both fronts.

Although Roy Hodgson was appointed as the Baggies' new boss on Friday, caretaker Michael Appleton will take charge on Saturday. He will become the youngest ever Premier League manager at the tender age of just 35 and the former Manchester United midfielder will need to sure up Albion's defence if they are to record a much needed victory.

Albion have kept just one clean sheet in the league this season, fewer than any other team in the Premier League, and have alarmingly conceded at least two goals in six of their last seven league games at the Hawthorns.

The Baggies sit precariously on the edge of the relegation zone in 17th place and will be looking to beat fellow strugglers West Ham to avoid dropping into the bottom three.

Hammers looking to continue impressive record against strugglers

West Ham travel to the Midlands on Saturday hoping to continue their good record against the teams around them. The Hammers have lost just two of their 14 games against teams currently in the bottom half of the Premier League but might be worried after last weekend's 1-0 defeat to Birmingham City.

The Hammers also struggle to keep goals out of their net - having failed to keep a clean sheet away from home in 21 Premier League games.

Sitting in 20th position at the bottom of the table is worrying for West Ham supporters but they will be buoyed by the fact that they can climb above West Brom with a win at the Hawthorns on Saturday - plunging their rivals into the relegation zone.

If West Ham don't survive this season it won't be for the want of trying - the Hammers have been caught offside 89 times this term, the highest in the league, and have used a staggering 32 players in their fight for survival.

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Last Five Matches

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West Bromwich Albion

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