To give a brief flavour of how the teams are feeling heading into the game, West Ham should be feeling confident after securing their first win of the season against Huddersfield Town. This vital victory might have saved Slaven Bilic’s job in the short-term.
Now the team travel to the West Midlands to face the well-organised West Brom, a team known for their robust defending. This will be a tough game for West Ham, I’ll never forget witnessing a 4-0 humbling at The Hawthorns back in February 2015. Of course, the Baggies beat us 4-2 last season almost a year ago. This isn’t going to be easy.
Have West Ham improved since the last West Brom spanking? The Hammers’ defence looked very solid against Huddersfield on Monday. But there’s a big difference between facing against a newly-promoted team and the established West Brom.
It’s going to be interesting to see how West Ham perform in this game. Here are this week’s writer’s predictions:
West Ham are coming off an impressive win, while West Brom just lost comprehensively. That means Tony Pulis will set out to play an ugly, defensive game. It's an opportunity for West Ham's quality to shine, and to me it screams late Javier Hernandez winner.
West Ham 1-0 West Brom
So I'm tempted to pick another loss here as my last pick saw the team actually win. I don't like the trip to West Brom, I don't like the trip on a short week to the Hawthorns, I don't necessarily like the match up and I just see a let down here. But, with Spurs in the league the following week, the side may see this as an opportunity to pick up three points (or at least one).
I'll go with a 2-2 draw here.
After a pretty convincing win over Huddersfield, I think West Ham will find some confidence in their first league win. Even if that win was over a not-very-good squad. While Slaven was still somewhat tactically inept against the Terriers, there's still hope against a West Brom side that is gaffered (does that work as a verb?) by an equally inept Tony Pulis.
Coming off of a 1-1 draw at home against Stoke and a 3-1 loss at Brighton, I think the Baggies will keep their downward spiral going and lose 2-0 to a West Ham side that is on the rise.
West Brom 1-2 West Ham
Monday's win over Huddersfield showed a lot of fight. Things didn't come easily, but with a little luck Slaven Bilic and co. earned three points and their first win of the campaign. Saturday's match against West Brom will prove more difficult, but if the team presses as hard as it did against Huddersfield, it could earn a result. Andy Carroll proved to be a solid presence on the pitch, and if Bilic can conceive a better role for Chicharito to play than on the wing, it could build a solid attack force.
The happiness of the first win of the season quickly fades as the boys lose an ugly game to Tony Pulis' side.
WBA are a difficult side to play against and there's no doubt that a hard game lies ahead. Key to the whole issue I think is whether Andy Carroll has had any sort of reaction to playing on Monday night against Huddersfield. If not, then I think his physical presence will make all the difference; and although three points might be too much to hope for at this stage, a draw could at least be on the cards.
I didn't see anything against Huddersfield that makes me think the Hammers figured anything out. The tactics seem wrong 90% of the time and Slav seems to be running the team on try-hard-ness. Cresswell pumping crosses in was kind of encouraging, but I want more before can see them scoring enough for a win against Pulis and the Baggies
Hopefully we'll be able to continue our solid defensive display from Monday night. On that evidence, West Brom will be a much greater challenge than Huddersfield, especially with a dependable home record. But I think, while we lacked quality, we dug in and kept going and that should earn us a result this weekend. Antonio to star
I think we will get a hard-fought draw against West Brom, I can’t see West Ham keeping a clean sheet either. The Baggies tend to score quite a few goals against us too, so my predicted scoreline is 2-2 draw.