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Premier League

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

Premier League Preview: West Brom - West Ham

Premier League Preview: West Brom - West Ham

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.

Unless a manager is appointed beforehand, caretaker boss Michael Appleton 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.


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.

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Players to watch

P. Odemwingie

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The Nigerian striker has settled well in the Premier League, scoring an impressive nine goals in 19 games this season.

Odemwingie was an instant hit at the Hawthorns after scoring the only goal on his debut in West Brom's 1-0 win over Sunderland back at the start of the season and has continued to impress despite the club's dip in form.

The former Lokomotiv Moscow forward is lightening quick and runs the channels extremely well, causing problems for the opposition defence even when he is isolated as a lone frontman. The Nigerian is not afraid to shoot and his goals are sure to be crucial to West Brom's fight for Premier League survival.

S. Parker

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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The box-to-box midfielder may be wondering what more he has to do to impress Fabio Capello but Parker is certainly loved by the Hammers supporters - as shown by his 'Hammer of the Year' award, which the midfielder has won for the last two years running.

Parker's never-say-die attitude and incredible energy levels are the reasons why the fans love him and also why he is a superb midfielder.

Harry Redknapp reportedly courted Parker for his Tottenham side in January but the former Chelsea midfielder decided to stay at West Ham - and his ability to lift the rest of his team-mates by his performance alone will be crucial on Saturday and if the Hammers are to amaze critics and survive in the Premier League.

Editor's Prediction

Both teams will be desperate for a win in what will undoubtedly be dubbed a relegation six-pointer this Saturday afternoon.

In Piquionne, new signing Demba Ba, and Obinna, West Ham certainly have the attacking threat to trouble an extremely shaky Baggies defence.

But the home fans will be hoping that caretaker boss Michael Appleton's trademark passion will rally the team after the surprise sacking of Roberto Di Matteo last Sunday, and that the quality of Chris Brunt as well as Arsenal loanee Carlos Vela will ensure that the Baggies record a much needed three points this Saturday.

Neither side can defend and both like to attack, so a clean sheet is off the cards...

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

West Bromwich Albion

West Ham United


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
West Bromwich Albion FC West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United FC WHU
West Ham United FC West Ham United

Top 3 Predictions

West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
2 - 1
West Ham United FC WHU
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
1 - 2
West Ham United FC WHU
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
2 - 0
West Ham United FC WHU