THINGS are starting to look up for Albion, who have recorded successive Barclays Premier League draws in two tough recent clashes. Here, WhoScored.com
look back at the latest of those and ahead to the next challenge.
It was an assured defensive display at White Hart Lane that earned the Baggies a point on Boxing Day, with the side happy to allow Tottenham to dominate possession (64 per cent) but in largely unthreatening areas.
Spurs were unable to convert that into serious goalscoring chances, only managing three shots on target all game, including their goal, which came from a set piece Albion’s backline could do little about.
The back five were not in the mood to be beaten and it showed, with Steven Reid, Craig Dawson, Jonas Olsson, Diego Lugano and Liam Ridgewell making more than 30 clearances as Spurs’ multi-million pound strikeforce struggled to create much of any real note and were forced into putting balls into the box from distance.
Olsson, was also the hero at the other end, scoring the equaliser after Emmanuel Adebayor failed to clear, and he registered the highest WhoScored rating (7.42) of all Albion players on the day.
That score was the result of his 12 clearances, two shots blocked and one interception, on top of the goal, of course.
He will need to be on form in the Baggies’ next game, when an aerially domineering West Ham side welcome them to Upton Park.
Manager Sam Allardyce has been known to construct big, physical sides, and he will be hoping that he can stop the rot that has seen his side slip into the bottom two in the table.
The Hammers have only one point from their last five matches and that came against rock-bottom Sunderland, and have only picked up eight points on home soil all season. The lowest any other team has managed at home is seven.
West Ham won’t be all that confident of victory this time out, having won only one of their last six meetings with Albion; a wholly unfavourable record to add to their recent form.
They have scored only 15 goals in 18 Barclays Premier League matches all season (only three teams have netted fewer) whilst also shipping 25 goals (only five teams have conceded more).
Perhaps more pertinent, however, is the fact that both tallies rank them worse than their next opponents, Albion.
*WhoScored.com is a unique website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. Follow @WhoScored and their editor-in-chief @alitweedale on Twitter. All-time results record (League, FA Cup and League Cup)
Albion have not won at Upton Park since coming from three goals behind to triumph 4-3 on November 8, 2003. Brian Deane's own goal gave the Baggies hope before a Rob Hulse brace and a late Lee Hughes strike completed the comeback.
Four of Albion's last five meetings with the Hammers have ended in draws (0-0, 3-3, 2-2, 0-0, 3-1).
Albion have won only one of their last nine Barclays Premier League fixtures against West Ham (W1, D4, L4).
The Baggies have drawn more top-flight games this season than any other side (eight).
Last time out
HOME: Barclays Premier League, Sunday, December 16, 2012: Albion 0 West Ham 0
AWAY: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, March 30, 2013: West Ham 3 (Carroll 16, 80, O'Neil 28) Albion 1 (Dorrans pen 88)
Form guide (last six league matches)
WEST HAM: WLLDLL
Last league match line-ups
WEST HAM (v Arsenal - home L 3-1): Adrian, McCartney, Tomkins, O’Brien (Demel 63), Collins (Rat 38), Nolan (Taylor 75), Jarvis, Noble, Diame, J Cole, C Cole. Subs not used: Jaaskelainen (gk), Collison, Diarra, Maiga.
ALBION (v Tottenham - away D 1-1): Foster; Reid, Dawson, Olsson (c), Lugano, Ridgewell; Amalfitano (Mulumbu 71), Yacob, Morrison; Gera (Sessegnon 77); Vydra (Berahino 83). Subs not used: Myhill (gk), McAuley, Brunt, Sinclair.
James Collins (calf) and Ravel Morrison (groin) are doubts for the game, while Andy Carroll, Ricardo Vaz Te, Stewart Downing and Winston Reid all remain sidelined.
Mike Dean will referee Saturday’s game. The Wirral official last oversaw Albion in September's 2-0 defeat by Swansea at The Hawthorns. Dean has dished out three red and 48 yellow cards in 15 games this term.
Selected odds from Sky Bet:
West Ham to win: 5/4
Albion to win: 11/5
Matej Vydra to score first: 9/1
Carlton Cole to score first: 6/1
If you fancy a flutter with the club's official online betting partner, click here
Baggies fans are urged not to travel to West Ham without a ticket.
Listen to live match commentary on Albion Player
Can't get to Upton Park? Tune in to Albion Player's live, full-match commentary from 11.45pm. To sign up and listen click here
Follow our live matchday blog
Keep up to speed with all the matchday action and interact with fellow fans on our FREE blog on the Albion Wall from 11.45pm.
So, if you can't make it to the game, click here
to join in the fun, and post your comments.