There were six goals in this fixture when West Ham last visited The Hawthorns two years ago with the Baggies squandering a three-goal half-time lead to draw 3-3 – the Upton Park clash earlier that season ended in a 2-2 draw.
Steve Clarke was assistant manager to Gianfranco Zola at United for two seasons between 2008 and 2010.
Only Albion and the two Manchester teams have won six Premier League home fixtures this season – but United will be looking to earn their seventh Old Trafford triumph in their clash with Sunderland on Saturday.
Despite three successive defeats the Baggies can claim their highest league position at this stage of a top-flight campaign since December 1980 when Ron Atkinson’s side were also placed sixth following 16 fixtures.
Going into the weekend, only Villa and Wigan (both four) have scored fewer away goals than West Ham (five) so far in this campaign.
Including caretakers, the Hammers have only ever had 18 managers – a role Albion’s joint-assistant head coach, Kevin Keen, twice undertook in 2008 and 2011. Keen also made over 200 league appearances as a player for the Upton Park club between 1983 and 1993.
The Baggies have not lost four successive league games since January 2011.
Last time out
HOME: Premier League, Saturday, February 12, 2011: Albion 3 (Dorrans 3, Thomas 8, Reid og 32) West Ham 3 (Ba 50 & 83, Cole 58)
AWAY: Premier League, Wednesday, November 10, 2010: West Ham 2 (Parker 43, Piquionne pen 50) Albion 2 (Odemwingie pen 38, Ibanez 71)
Form guide (last six league matches)
WEST HAM: LDWDDL
Last league match line-ups
ALBION (v Arsenal - away L 0-2): Myhill; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell (Popov 6); Morrison, Mulumbu; Odemwingie (Lukaku 62), Gera (Rosenberg 66), Brunt (c); Long. Subs not used: L Daniels (gk), Dorrans, Fortune, Tamas.
WEST HAM (v Liverpool - home L 2-3): Jaaskelainen; Demell (McCartney HT), Reid, Collins, O’Brien; Noble, Nolan, Diame (Tomkins 73); Taylor (Maigal 86), Cole, Jarvis. Subs not used: Spiegel (gk); Spence, O’Neil, Moncur.
West Ham team news
Momo Diame is unlikely to feature for the visitors after limping out of last Sunday’s defeat by Liverpool with a hamstring problem. Guy Demel was also forced from the field last weekend with muscle tightness. George McCartney is a major doubt after picking up a knee injury in training. Yossi Benayoun, Jack Collison and Andy Carroll (all knee), Alou Diarra (thigh) and Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) are all out for the injury-hit Hammers.
Phil Dowd will referee Sunday’s game. The Staffordshire official last oversaw Albion in their 3-0 win over Liverpool on the opening day of the season. Dowd has dished out 55 yellow and three red cards in 15 games this term.
Selected odds from Bet Butler:
Albion to win: evens
West Ham to win: 31/10
Shane Long to score first: 11/2
Carlton Cole to score first: 17/2
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