West Brom vs West Ham Preview: Key Battle, Recent Form, Team News & More
West Ham will be looking to secure back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since January when they play West Brom on Saturday.
The Baggies will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-1 loss away to Brighton. With both teams going onto the field with a point to prove, this could be an interesting encounter with many talking points.
West Brom's defence looked vulnerable last time out, which is uncommon for the West Midlands side. On the other hand, West Ham secured their first clean sheet of the season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Huddersfield.
West Ham will name an unchanged side, with no new injuries sustained and Mark Noble not yet back to full fitness. Marko Arnautovic returns from suspension for this game, but may struggle to find his way back into the side, with Andy Carroll now fit and raring to go having made his first start of the season.
Changes will be needed on West Brom's side, given the dismal performance last time out. Tony Pulis' side lacked attacking intent, and the possible inclusion of familiar Baggies faces James Morrison and Chris Brunt would breathe much-needed life into the side.
The game comes too early for 37-year-old centre-back Gareth McAuley, who appeared for the Under-23s in midweek action as he looks to comeback from a thigh injury. Hal Robson-Kanu will be available for selection having served his ban, while Nacer Chadli will hope to pass a late fitness test.
Predicted West Brom lineup: Foster, Nyom, Evans, Hegazy, Evans, Brunt, Barry, Phillips, Krychowiak, Morrison, Rodriguez; Rondón.
Predicted West Ham lineup: Hart, Collins, Reid, Fonte, Zabaleta, Kouyaté, Obiang, Cresswell, Antonio, Carroll; Hernandez.
Both teams faced newly promoted sides previously, but only West Ham emerged victorious, which is why they may go into this game with more confidence, despite their faltering start to the season.
Dismissing Huddersfield with ease, West Ham looked back to their best thanks to goals from Pedro Obiang and Andre Ayew.
However, West Brom will be a much tougher test, having seven points on the table already along with two clean sheets thanks to their sturdy defence.
The same defence raised question marks last time out, as Pulis' side conceded three goals to Brighton. They will need to sure up at the back if they are to get anything out of this match, with West Ham looking threatening going forward once again.
Andy Carroll vs Jonny Evans
Two of the Premier League's toughest prepare to face off on Saturday, with both players recently making their first league starts of the season.
Carroll's physical presence is known to everyone in the league, as on his day he can be unplayable. Dominant in the air and possessing a powerful shot, Carroll can be a defender's nightmare.
However, the experience of Evans may swing the battle in his favour. Easily West Brom's best defender, Evans will be tasked with stopping Carroll from influencing proceedings.
Either using his physicality or footballing brain to stay one step ahead, Evans will know this battle could determine the match.
The last three Premier League meetings between the two sides have seen 13 goals scored and don't expect Saturday to be any different. While West Brom are conventionally resolute in defence, the 3-1 loss to Brighton showed how to exploit their weaknesses.
West Ham would have taken note and will come out on top in this clash. With such a difficult front three to contest with, West Ham have pace, finishing and strength in abundance and the home side will struggle. Both keepers will be busy in what is likely to be a spectacle for the neutral.
Prediction: West Brom 2-3 West Ham