West Bromwich Albion Match Preview
West Ham United play their second midweek Premier League clash of the season when they host newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion tonight, looking to build on Saturday’s success over Burnley.
After briefly climbing to eighth place in the Premier League table following the win over Sean Dyche’s men, the Hammers have slipped a place and they will be targeting another victory to continue their perfect start to the New Year.
The Irons have had a good record against the top-flight newcomers this season, having already beaten play-off winners Fulham, while having also notched up a very impressive victory away at Leeds United.
This game would have seen a second return to East London for Slaven Bilic but with the Croatian having been sacked earlier last month, due to their poor start to the campaign, senior figures at The Hawthorns turned to another former West Ham boss in Sam Allardyce to try to steer the Baggies away from the relegation zone.
The home side will be wanting to get revenge over tonight’s visitors, as Bilic led his then Championship outfit to an FA Cup fourth round victory here last January.
It was a good day for both of these sides on Saturday but David Moyes will be hoping that Big Sam is unsuccessful again here, as he was on each of his previous two visits with Crystal Palace and Everton.
It’s not just Allardyce who will be making a return to his former club, as he also brings youngster Grady Diangana, as well as experienced winger Robert Snodgrass back with him and both will be keen to make the starting line-up.
As for the hosts, Moyes may well have Fabián Balbuena back from his self-isolation period but the Scot is likely to stick with the partnership of Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson in central defence.
One player that will not be involved however is Development Squad regular Dan Kemp as he cut short his season-long loan spell at Sky Bet League One outfit Blackpool to drop a division. Kemp has now made a permanent switch to Leyton Orient after a deal was completed on Friday.
Michail Antonio is in contention to start his third consecutive game and once again lead the line.
The match kicks off at 6pm and live coverage is being screened by BT Sport from 5:30pm. The referee is Graham Scott.