It will be Premier League match time at Upton Park when West Ham United host West Bromwich Albion in game-round twelve on Wednesday.
West Ham manager Avram Grant is on his last limb, literally, as the squad’s co-owner David Sullivan wants West Ham to muster at least seven points from the games with Birmingham, West Brom, Blackpool, and Liverpool, as a litmus test as to the club’s viability under Grant. West Ham got one of those points in the Birmingham game, and a loss against West Brom could see Grant make a quick exit from Upton Park.
West Brom is coming off back-to-back defeats to Blackpool and Manchester City and they have just cause to believe that at least the loss at Blackpool could have been avoided but for a harsh referee decided to send off Pablo Ibanez.
But as desperate as the Baggies are to end their losing streak, so are West Ham keen to get out of the cellar in the points table.
For West Ham, midfielder Mark Noble is due to missing the game on Wednesday, as he is yet to get back to match fitness after undergoing an appendix removal operation. Collison, Tal Ban Haim, Hines, and Hitlzsperger are others on the list of injured. Hammers will welcome Kieron Dyer back to action after a long spell of injury.
West Brom will miss Mulumbu who is serving a three-match suspension after being sent off against Man City last Sunday. Ahead of the game, West Brom finds Jara, Olsson, and Shorey on the injured list. But they will welcome Morrison’s return to the squad, and they could make a late call on Reid and Shorey.
In West Ham’s favor, they have not conceded a goal to West Brom in the last four games between the sides. That said, in their last six home games, West Ham have scored just the solitary goal in each match.
West Brom’s away record is mediocre and that must cause cheer at Upton Park; in their last 21 away games, West Brom have recorded just one win.
Baggies will look to their talismanic player Odemwingie to inspire them to victory in Wednesday’s game, while Hammers will want Piquionne to continue from where he left against Birmingham against whom the striker scored.
The following players were in West Ham’s starting eleven against Birmingham: Green, Jacobsen, Gabbidon, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Parker, Boa Morte, Obinna, Cole, and Piquionne; Kovac and Dyer played as substitutes.
West Brom’s starting eleven against Manchester City comprised: Carson, Shorey, Tamas, Pablo, Cech, Mulumbu, Scharner, Brunt, Cox, Thomas, and Fortune; Miller, Odemwingie, and Barnes featured as substitutes.
Suresh Iyer is an avid sports fan and blogger.