Five Talking Points - West Brom

Five Talking Points

Five hot topics of discussion ahead of Saturday’s home fixture against Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion…


Out for revenge

Though many West Ham United fans will have done their best to erase September’s defeat to West Brom from their memory, Slaven Bilic’s side were well and truly humbled in the Midlands earlier this season.

Going 4-0 down before adding a bit of respectability to the scoreline, it was not the visitors’ finest hour at the Hawthorns.

But Saturday’s meeting could well be a different story at London Stadium. While the Hammers visited West Brom on the back of three consecutive defeats earlier this season, the current form guides suggests this fixture could see revenge for the hosts.

Having beaten Southampton, Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace well in three of their last four matches, West Ham will be hoping their momentum can see them through to another victory on Saturday against the side one place above them in the table.


International teammates

There will be a few friendly faces in the tunnel for Robert Snodgrass before the game on Saturday, with the Scotsman coming up against three of his international teammates; Darren Fletcher, Matt Phillips and James Morrison.

The former is West Brom’s skipper, while Matt Phillips is enjoying a terrific first season at the Hawthorns, and has four goals and eight assists to his name.

Meanwhile, Morrison has also been grabbing the goals recently for Albion; he’s scored three times in the team’s last five outings.

So, Snoddy; let your new colleagues know how best to stop the Scotsmen at London Stadium!


Big Call for the Big Man

Andy Carroll has not trained this week for the Hammers, meaning Slaven Bilic has a huge late call on his hands; to play his key forward or not.

In his Thursday press conference, the boss said: “Andy is in good form and has been great for us. He felt his groin and we didn't want to take a risk so we will make a decision on Friday on whether he will be available for Saturday.

“It is not something major because if it was bigger it would rule him out of the game. It is still open and is not a big injury.”

With so much influence in the way the Hammers play, Carroll’s inclusion in Saturday’s starting XI could have a massive bearing on the final result.


Five Points

Heads up

West Ham have Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio – West Brom are one of the Premier League’s notoriously physical sides. The aerial battles all over the pitch on Saturday are likely to be vital.

Barely anybody can stop AC in the air when he’s on form, but if there is a central defensive partnership that will have a real go, that’s Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans.

Then, West Brom will also have to worry about the threat of Michail Antonio in the air as well. We all know his incredible headed goals record.

Albion do have Allan Nyom and Craig Dawson as their first choice full-backs though, so Pulis’ side are certainly no pushovers when it comes to heading the ball.


Ayew ready?

Having returned from AFCON after his Ghana side lost out in the semi-finals, Andre Ayew is back in contention and could make his return in a Claret and Blue shirt on Saturday.

The forward, signed from Swansea City in the summer, is still yet to show his best at London Stadium but many Hammers fans will be hoping the Gabon-based tournament will have sparked the 27-year-old’s top form.

Ayew featured in four of his side’s six matches in the competition, and has returned to east London, as Cheikhou Kouyate did last week, to help West Ham on all fronts.

Are we going to see him back on the pitch on Saturday?