West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion - All you need to know
West Ham United are back in Premier League action on Tuesday evening, when West Bromwich Albion visit London Stadium for a 6pm kick-off.
The Hammers kick-off their 19th fixture of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign ninth in the table with 29 points, level on points with Chelsea in seventh and Southampton in eighth. A win over the Baggies will take David Moyes' men above both, while a four-goal victory would take the Irons above Everton into sixth.
The Irons are unbeaten in four Premier League matches dating back to a defeat at Chelsea on 21 December, drawing with Brighton and Southampton before beating Everton and Burnley, and have kept clean sheets in their last three top-flight games.
Despite starting the night in 19th place, West Brom will arrive in east London with rising confidence, having won 3-2 at local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday. The win was just their second in 18 Premier League games this season, but it did close the gap on Burnley in 17th to five points.
As everyone knows, England is now under national lockdown due to the ongoing pandemic, meaning the game will be played without supporters present. However, the match will be shown live in the UK by BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Ultimate and across the world by the Premier League’s international broadcast partners, meaning our fans will be able to follow the action, safely, from home.
West Ham United manager David Moyes could welcome back Fabián Balbuena after the Paraguay international missed the last four matches while self-isolating after coming onto contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Arthur Masuaku remains sidelined after undergoing surgery to remedy a long-standing knee injury for another two months.
For Sam Allardyce's West Brom, Robert Snodgrass and Grady Diang could face their former club, while Conor Gallagher could return after missing the win over Wolves through suspension.
Striker Karlan Grant is out with a cracked bone in his foot, while goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and winger Matt Phillips are both out after testing positive for COVID-19.
The opposition – West Bromwich Albion
Of all Sam Allardyce’s managerial jobs, saving West Bromwich Albion from relegation from the Premier League may be the most challenging of them all.
The Baggies go into Tuesday's game with just two wins and eleven points from their opening 18 top-flight matches.
With a minus-27 goal difference to boot after scoring just 14 goals and conceding a division-high 41 in those 18 matches, West Brom are effectively six points adrift of safety in 19th place.
This is the fifth time Allardyce has been appointed manager of a Premier League club midway through a season, and West Brom’s predicament is worse than any of the previous four.
But only a fool would write off Big Sam as, on each of those previous four occasions, Allardyce kept his club in the top flight come the season’s end.
In December 2008, he took charge at Blackburn Rovers with the Lancashire club 19th with ten points from 17 games. They finished 15th.
In October 2015, he was appointed by Sunderland with the Black Cats 19th with three points from eight matches. They finished 17th.
In December 2016, he joined Crystal Palace with the Eagles 17th with 15 points from 17 games. They finished 14th.
And finally, in November 2017, he took over at Everton with the Toffees 13th with 15 points from 14 matches. They finished eighth.
While West Brom’s predicament is arguably worse than all of the above, Allardyce’s track record suggests he is the perfect manager to lead the Baggies to safety and avoid a record fifth relegation from the Premier League.
How will they play?
Well, they’ll play like every Sam Allardyce team has always played… West Brom will set up to be hard to beat, with a strong physical presence all over the pitch, some creative elements in the midfield, a bit of pace out wide, and centre-forwards who put themselves about and make life difficult for their opposing defenders.
The formula worked at Wolves on Saturday after the Baggies had failed to win and conceded 15 goals in Big Sam’s first five games in charge. And with more time on the training pitch and further January signings to be made, one can expect that record to improve.
West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion meet in the Premier League for the 21st time on Tuesday evening.
The Hammers have won seven of the previous 20 fixtures between the two clubs in this competition, with the Baggies winning just four, with nine draws.
West Ham have scored more goals – 30 to 25 – and kept more clean sheets – six to five – as you might expect, but West Brom have netted four penalties to West Ham’s two, and also had the only red card shown in this Premier League fixture – Youssouf Mulumbu’s for kicking the ball into Gary O’Neil’s backside at the Boleyn Ground in March 2013!
The Hammers are unbeaten in the last three Premier League meetings and have not lost at home to the Baggies in the last nine Premier League fixtures in east London dating back to a 1-0 defeat in September 2002.
However, West Brom did win here by that scoreline in an FA Cup fourth-round tie on 25 January last year.
West Ham’s biggest Premier League win over West Brom was a 3-0 success at The Hawthorns on 30 April 2016, when Mark Noble scored two goals and Andy Carroll got the other.
David Moyes has faced West Brom on 23 occasions in his long managerial career, winning 12, drawing two and losing nine. Moyes has also faced Sam Allardyce 23 times, winning 13, drawing three and losing seven.
By the numbers
8 Eight of Martin Peters’ 100 goals scored for West Ham United were netted in his 20 career appearances against West Bromwich Albion, including his only hat-trick in Claret and Blue. Peters’ first against the Baggies came on his fifth and was the sixth in a 6-1 First Division win at the Boleyn Ground in April 1965. He added a second in a 4-0 home win in January 1966, a third in the 4-1 League Cup final second-leg defeat at The Hawthorns that March, and a penalty in a 3-0 top-flight home win in December of his World Cup-winning year. Peters’ fifth came in a 3-1 away defeat in May 1968, before he completed his scoring by slamming in three in a 4-0 First Division win in east London three months later.
9 While Peters scored eight times against West Brom, his fellow World Cup final hero Sir Geoff Hurst has scored more goals against the Baggies than any other Hammer, with nine in 23 appearances. The 249-goal Hurst began his spree in a 2-2 home First Division draw in December 1962, before adding two more in a 4-2 home victory in November 1963. April 1965 saw him net a fourth in a 4-2 defeat in the Midlands, before five and six arrived in a 4-0 home win in January 1966. The seventh was scored in a League Cup semi-final second leg draw at the Boleyn Ground in February 1967, and the eighth from the penalty spot in a 3-2 home top-flight defeat in December that year. Hurst’s ninth and final strike against the Baggies was a consolation in a 3-1 loss at home in August 1969. Hurst later joined West Brom in 1975 and played 12 times, scoring two goals.
5 Sticking with the 1960s, Brian Dear famously scored five goals in a sensational 20-minute spell either side of half-time in the aforementioned 6-1 win on 16 April 1965. The Plaistow-born forward opened his account a minute before half-time and kept on scoring, netting four more in 18 minutes after the break to set a top-flight record that has not been broken in the 56 years since!
225 Craig Dawson made 225 appearances for West Bromwich Albion across eight seasons at The Hawthorns, scoring 15 goals and registering 12 assists. The versatile defender split his appearances for the Baggies almost in half between centre-back and right-back, while he also appeared twice at left-back!
22 Assistant manager Alan Irvine was appointed as West Brom’s head coach in June 2014 and spent six months in charge at The Hawthorns, guiding the Baggies to a memorable Premier League win at Tottenham Hotspur to register his first Premier League victory as a manager.
4 Four former West Ham United players have served as West Bromwich Albion manager. The first was 1940 War Cup winner Archie Macauley, who took charge for 67 games between 1961-63, followed by 1980 FA Cup winner Stuart Pearson, who managed the Baggies six times in early 1991 before being succeeded by 1975 FA Cup winner Bobby Gould, who was in charge for 66 games until May 1992! The fourth was Slaven Bilić, who led West Brom to promotion last season and won 26 of his 65 games as Baggies boss.
3 Croatian Bilić is also one of three men to manage both clubs, with the others being Alan Pardew, who was in charge at The Hawthorns for five months between November 2017 and April 1918, and Sam Allardyce, who was appointed on 16 December last year. In addition, former Hammers assistant manager Steve Clarke, who is currently Scotland national team manager, was West Brom boss between June 2012 and December 2013, guiding the Baggies to eighth in the Premier League in 2012/13.
Referee: Graham Scott
Assistant Referees: Neil Davies and Simon Long
Fourth Official: Gavin Ward
VAR: Darren England
Assistant VAR: Stephen Child
Affiliated to the Oxfordshire FA, Scott began refereeing at the age of 28 in 1997, having previously played as a goalkeeper for Abingdon Town at youth level.
Scott worked his way up through local leagues before being appointed to the National List of referees in 2008, aged 39.
Now 52, Scott refereed his first Premier League fixture in November 2014 when he took charge of Burnley’s 1-1 draw with Aston Villa – a game in which Joe Cole scored Villa’s goal.
Scott’s rise continued as he was appointed to the Select Group of Premier League referees in 2015.
Scott has yet to officiate a West Ham United fixture this season, but he did take charge of AFC Bournemouth’s 1-0 at Chelsea in the Premier League on 14 December.
He has refereed West Ham United on eleven occasions previously, with the most recent being the 4-0 Premier League win over AFC Bournemouth here on New Year’s Day 2020.
None of the eleven previous matches Scott has officiated has ended in a draw, with seven West Ham wins and four defeats.
Tuesday’s game is Scott’s first West Bromwich Albion appointment since a 2-1 Championship semi-final first-leg defeat at Aston Villa in May 2019.