WEST BROMWICH ALBION v WEST HAM UNITED
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 26 APRIL 2014
KICK-OFF: 3PM
REFEREE: MIKE DEAN

FULL AUDIO COMMENTARY - WEST HAM TV

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PREVIEW I BIG SAM I TACTICALLY SPEAKING


Final score - West Bromwich Albion 1-0 West Ham United

94: The final whistle is blown on another disappointing away day for the Hammers. After a bright start, Berahino finished a move that cut through the heart of the West Ham defence and left him with a simple tap-in. Aside from working Foster with two low shots that he dealt with, West Ham created precious little from open play. Carroll came closest to an equaliser when his header hit the top of the crossbar from Jarvis's corner. The West Brom fans erupt at the final whistle. Neither team is safe, however. The only good news is that Fulham drew 2-2 with Hull, meaning the Cottagers are now six points behind with just two games to play and a vastly inferior goal difference. We could now do with a Manchester United win over Norwich and a draw between Sunderland and Cardiff tomorrow...

93: West Brom are playing out time by the corner flag and now they have a throw. This game is over.

92: Diame crosses but it's never got a chance of reaching a West Ham player. Noble is then caught in possession and Collins is booked for a late challenge on Anichebe.

92: A minute of added time has gone by.

90: A final change from Pepe Mel, who brings off Berahino and brings on Yacob. West Ham have a throw, but just three added minutes to find something. Diame knocking the ball straight out of play from a Demel throw isn't going to help.

88: Time is running out, but there is still hope. Adrian is out to gather a loose ball and urges his team-mates forward. He wastes the kick, but then Brunt hammers a clearance straight out of play. Come on West Ham!

86: Olsson commits a foul. Noble floats it in and Albion deal with it. They force a throw, then McCartney wastes the cross. The grey clouds have gathered overhead again.

84: A sniff of a chance for Nolan as Carroll wins the header and Diame gets to the follow-up, but he cannot get the shot away. McCartney crosses from the left and Carlton Cole is penalised for a push. Arrrrgh!!

83: Time is running out and it's not looking great for the Hammers. They need to get the ball down and move it quickly and pull the West Brom defenders out of position. At present, the ball is being knocked around in front of the Baggies.

81: Demel's through ball for Carlton Cole is overhit and the ball rolls away for a goal kick. Sessegnon is replaced by Victor Anichebe. Sessegnon has done his work today, he's been impressive.

80: Jones shoots for West Brom and the ball thuds into the midriff of Adrian, who catches.

79: Jarvis is replaced by Carlton Cole.

78: Carroll is fouled on halfway by Mulumbu. Noble to loft it into the box... He does, Demel gets to the loose ball and Cole's low cross is blocked.

76: Carlton Cole and Vaz Te are sent out to warm-up. If they are going to come on, it might need to be sooner rather than later.

75: Adrian called into action again and it's a fine save low to his right to keep out Berahino's shot, which just eluded the leg of Collins on its way through.

73: A replay shows that the corner just awarded to the Hammers came off the arm of Dawson. I'm not sure it was deliberate, but it definitely came off the No25's arm as he challenged Carroll for the header.

71: Another corner, this time for the Hammers... Jarvis takes and Carroll is unmarked, but heads against the crossbar from six yards. The ball bounces high into the air and spins behind. Goal kick. Frustrating isn't the word.

69: Corner to West Brom now as Noble can only divert a throw in behind. It's a deep one and Dawson climbs on his man before heading wide.

67: Corner to West Ham. Olsson's header falls to Downing, who finds Demel. His cross hits Morrison. Downing's corner to the far post is headed wide by Carroll. Joe Cole is on for Downing. Can he conjure a bit of magic?

64: West Brom have a corner off McCartney. The flag kick is cleared and Downing belts the ball upfield. The home fans are right behind their team, willing them on, and it seems to be paying dividends. West Ham are rocking. Mulumbu shoots and it turns into a through ball for Berahino, but he is surprised and cannot control.

62: It should be 2-0. Downing gives the ball away on halfway and West Brom are on the back four straight away. Sessegnon finds Berahino, who loses his footing at the vital time. Collins passes the clearance straight to Sessegnon, who loses the attentions of one defender but then drives his shot high over the crossbar from about 16 yards. Great chance wasted by the home side.

59: Downing and Jarvis have swapped wings. Jarvis now on the right.

58: With results the way they are elsewhere, an equaliser has become even more important than it was at kick-off.

55: Adrian keeps it at 1-0 by diving low to his left to push Jones's shot around the upright. The corner is half-cleared but the crowd hold their breath as the Baggies push for a second. The attack ends when Dorrans drags a shot wide.

54: Probably West Ham's best period of possession of the match ends with Downing collecting a header from Demel, curling over a left-footed cross and Carroll heading wide of the far post.

51: Corner to the Hammers as Jones panics and prods Downing's cross out of play when he had no-one near him. Jarvis takes and Foster collects unopposed and sets the Baggies away on the counter. Sessegnon runs at Noble and cuts onto his left foot and then right before slamming a shot high into the side netting.

50: Berahino is quicker onto a loose ball than Collins, but his shot is blocked by the No19 and the ball flies away for a throw on the far side. The next goal in this game is absolutely vital.

49: Dorrans trips Downing. That's a bit cynical from the Scot, but he escapes a card. Noble clips the free-kick in and, after a brief scramble, Foster dives on it.

48: Carroll forces Foster to slice a clearance out for a throw. West Ham need to get on the front foot, raise the tempo, pass the ball and put West Brom under some concerted pressure. The Baggies have a far from watertight defence.

46: Jarvis and Diame get the game back underway. Almost an immediate chance as Demel gets to a ball on the edge of the box and beats Brunt to get to the byline. The cutback towards Nolan is cleared as far as Diame, whose follow-up is blocked. West Brom break immediately and win a corner. Adrian clears with his hands and Diame smashes the ball out for a throw.

4.02pm - Here come the two teams, with West Ham out of the tunnel first. The sun is out again. No further changes from Big Sam just yet.

Antonio Nocerino and Joe Cole are out warming up on the pitch at half-time. Will we see a change or two at the start of the second half? West Ham have already been forced to make one change, remember. Vaz Te and Armero are out there too, now. Plenty of flair and pace available off the bench, should the manager opt to use them.

49: A long free-kick into the box hits Reid on the head and bounces away. The half-time whistle is blown. West Ham have it all to do after Berahino's close-range goal put West Brom in the driving seat. Carroll and Diame both worked Foster, but West Ham couldn't fashion an equaliser. Join us again for the second half in a short while.

46: We will have at least two minutes of added time, but first Steven Reid needs the physio on. He has to be replaced, with James Morrison coming on. Jones to right-back, with Brunt to left-back.

45: Jarvis has another run at Reid, but this time the Irishman holds firm and the ball runs away for a goal kick.

42: West Ham have had the ball in decent areas, but it has been the final ball that has let them down so far. A bit more quality in and around the box and they can get level in this game. That said, the home side have looked dangerous and well capable of grabbing a second themselves.

40: Jarvis does well again, beating Reid and Olsson down the left. He crosses at waist height and Nolan cannot keep the volley down. It loops high and wide. Ironic cheers from the home fans and a wry smile on the face of the captain.

39: Noble lifts a free-kick in after Downing has been fouled. Nolan flicks on with his head, but Foster is there to claim.

36: Another chance for the Baggies. Berahino beats Noble and then Diame down the left before crossing low. The ball works its way to Sessegnon, who should hit it first time, but doesn't, allowing Collins to block the ball behind. The Olsson header from the corner deflects behind for another corner. This one is deeper and when it is headed back, Adrian can collect the bouncing ball.

32: Collins is going to be on shortly. It's Tomkins who is the man replaced, but not before Diame has beaten his man and slashed a wild shot high and wide of the target when he had space to run into.

30: Potential flashpoint as Jarvis races onto Diame's volleyed pass. The suggestion from the referee is that Foster gets some of the ball with his flying tackle, but I'm not so sure. Corner. The ball drops to Downing, who finds Diame, who smashes in a shot that Foster parries. Nolan claims handball as the ball comes back and hits a Baggies defender, but meanwhile West Brom break from their own box and Dorrans has a go from 22 yards, but drags his effort wide.

28: Tactically, West Brom seem to have runners free between West Ham's midfield and back four. The likes of Sessegnon and Berahino are looking dangerous. As I type, Nolan finds Jarvis in space down the left channel, but this time the No7 opts to pass inside instead of taking Reid on and he gives the ball away.

25: It could so easily be 2-0. First, Brunt curls a delicious cross through the six-yard box. Amalfitano keeps the ball in on the near touchline and bends in another fine delivery. Jones throws himself at the ball and sends a powerful diving header just wide of the upright. Adrian would have had no chance.

23: The sun which was shining about 25 minutes ago has disappeared and the grey clouds above are now depositing some pretty steady rain onto The Hawthorns.

21: Noble fouls Berahino about 25 yards out. Dorrans hits the free-kick, but it's close enough for Adrian to make a routine catch. West Ham break immediately and again Jarvis has some joy. He crosses and Downing heads back for Carroll, but the No9 isn't there to finish as he has moved towards the initial cross.

19: Another chance. Diame crosses from the right and Carroll stoops in front of Reid and powers the header at goal, but Foster dives to his right and keeps the ball out from almost on the line.

18: Downing and Demel combine on the right. Downing crosses to the far post, where Carroll volleys low across the face of goal. Dawson is there to block with his legs, or else Nolan would have had a great chance from six yards.

18: West Ham cannot afford to panic. They've had plenty of the ball in the opening stages and Jarvis has shown he can beat Reid for pace and movement.

15: Another half-chance goes begging. Diame is fouled on halfway. Noble clips the free-kick over the defence and Nolan is goal-side, but he doesn't connect with the acrobatic attempt and Foster collects.

14: Jarvis is having a field day down the left. He gets beyond Reid again and lofts a cross into the centre. It's again not going to find a West Ham shirt, though, as Reid stretches, then collects and clears.

13: The home fans didn't really need any encouragement to cheer their team on, but the noise level has gone up even further.

11: Goal! West Brom lead and it's a shocker from West Ham's back four. Sessegnon saunters past Tomkins and McCartney is drawn out of position and dives in. Amalfitano has time and space to pick out his man and does so. It's Berahino who cannot miss from about two yards.

9: Corner to West Brom. Dorrans to take. The Scot delivers and Carroll heads clear. Mulumbu collects when Diame does not complete the job, but the midfielder blasts high and wide.

8: Another moment for the Hammers as Diame nicks possession in midfield and is running at the back four. He lays left for Jarvis, who runs at Reid and beats him. He crosses low, but the West Brom defence just about deal with it through Olsson. Moments later, Jarvis again takes on the right-back, but this time his cross harmlessly floats behind.

6: Close! The corner is deep. Carroll wins the header and finds Nolan in front of the near post. He holds up with his back to goal and lays off for the No9, whose fierce shot is blocked by Foster. He would have done well to score from that tight angle, but it was on target nonetheless.

5: Amalfitano fells McCartney just outside the penalty are on the West Ham left. The attack had seen Carroll find Demel, who crossed from the right. Noble takes and the ball flicks off Reid's head and behind for a corner. Downing will take on the far side.

4: Both sets of fans are making a right din, which is making for a superb atmosphere. Downing chases down the right wing and puts Olsson under pressure. The Swede clears and Diame cannot control under pressure. Throw to the Baggies on halfway.

2: West Brom need their physio on as Mulumbu clashes with a team-mate as he tries to head clear from in front of Carroll. The DR Congo midfielder is down on the turf for a period, but he's soon recovered and able to continue.

10 secs: Well, that would have been a disastrous start. West Brom work it straight from the kick-off and Brunt has space to cross from the left. Tomkins cuts it out, but Brunt has the ball again. He beats Demel to the byline and crosses, but Tomkins dives to head away and the right-back clears upfield!

3pm - We're off through Berahino and Sessegnon...

2.58pm - We're staying as we are end-wise. West Brom are having a huddle. The home side will kick-off...

2.55pm - Here come the two teams, led by captains Nolan and Brunt. The sun can't decide if it wants to shine or not, but one thing is for sure and that is that the Claret and Blue Army are in full voice as usual!

2.50pm - I am told Chris Brunt will not be playing at left-back, as was suggested by some in their previews. Steven Reid is likely to be at full-back, with Brunt in midfield. So, can the Hammers secure the points needed to reach the magical 40? Would a draw be sufficient? Or will we go down to a defeat and have to suffer some squeaky-bum time?

2.45pm - The Hammers have headed back into their dressing room to receive their final instructions from Big Sam and his staff. This is a big game and the sun has come to watch, thankfully! At the same time, we have also got light rain falling here at The Hawthorns and the sprinklers are on...

2.10pm - Apologies for the slight delay. Here is today's team news. One change from Big Sam, with Guy Demel returning from illness to replace Pablo Armero. Demel will play at right-back, with McCartney reverting to his usual position on the left of the defence. West Brom bring in Steven Reid and Saido Berahino for Liam Ridgewell and Matej Vydra. Presumably, Reid will play at left-back, but we shall see.

West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, McCartney, Reid, Tomkins, Noble, Nolan (c), Diame, Jarvis, Downing, Carroll
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Armero, Vaz Te, Collins, C.Cole, J.Cole, Nocerino

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Jones, Reid, Olsson, Dawson, Brunt (c), Dorrans, Mulumbu, Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Berahino
Subs: Myhill, Yacob, Morrison, Lugano, Anichebe, Vydra, Bifouma

1.50pm - We will have the team news confirmed for you in about ten minutes. If you fancy giving yourself a chance to win a signed piece of memorabilia, then please guess our starting XI using #WHULINEUP on our Twitter page.

1.40pm - West Brom manager Pepe Mel has some kind words about the 'great man' Bobby Moore in his Programme column. Mel also urges supporters to back the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK and the Know The Score bowel cancer awareness campaign. The Spaniard also touches on the importance of today's game for the Baggies, insisting they can be 'third time lucky' after losing leads in each of their last two home matches with Cardiff and Tottenham to be held to 3-3 draws. Of course, that was also the scoreline when we hosted West Brom at the Boleyn Ground on 28 December.

Good afternoon and welcome to The Hawthorns in the Birmingham suburb of West Bromwich for today's Barclays Premier League fixture.

It is a big game for both sides, with the Hammers seeking a victory that would all but secure their top-flight safety, while the Baggies are desperate for points as they go into the game just three points above the relegation zone. WIth 37 points from 35 matches, an away win today would surely secure survival for Sam Allardyce's squad.

Both clubs simply need to get back to the habit of winning football matches. West Ham have won two and lost six of their last eight, while West Brom have won just two league games since New Year's Day. That said, Pepe Mel's side have lost just one of their previous nine home league matches, drawing seven and winning just one!

If history counts for anything, it favours West Ham this afternoon, as the Londoners have lost just one of their last ten meetings with West Brom, winning five and drawing four. The Hammers have drawn on their previous two visits to The Hawthorns, coming from 3-0 down to level in February 2011 and playing out a goalless stalemate in December 2012. West Ham's most-recent win here came on 1 May 2006, when Nigel Reo-Coker bagged the only goal in a 1-0 Premier League success.

As for the team news, Big Sam has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal. Only Marco Borriello's troublesome calf and Matt Taylor, whose daughter is ill, are unavailable for today's game. Coming on the back of a home defeat by Crystal Palace last weekend, will the manager be tempted to shake things up?

For Spaniard Mel, left-back Liam Ridgewell is out with a knee injury suffered in defeat at Manchester City on Monday evening. His place could go to Chris Brunt, while Northern Irish centre-back Gareth McAuley - he of the fantastic terrace chant - is hoping to return from the calf problem which ruled him out of the 3-1 reverse at the Etihad.

We will have the confirmed team news for you at just after 2pm. In the meantime, please amuse yourselves by entering our two matchday competitions on Twitter - #WHULINEUP and #WHUGOAL - and by supplying your own matchday photographs on our social media platforms using the hashtag #COYI.

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