ALBION will be looking to build on a positive start to the season that has seen them secure seven points from the opening four matches when West Ham visit The Hawthorns on Saturday.
West Ham recorded their first league victory of the season on Monday with a 2-0 win at home to Huddersfield. They had lost their opening three league matches against Manchester United, Southampton and Newcastle United before that.
The Hammers finished 11th in the Premier League last season, level on 45 points with Albion but with a worse goal difference. They recruited plenty of well-known players in the summer, including Pablo Zabaleta from Manchester City, Marko Arnautovic from Stoke and Javier Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen.
Former West Ham player Slaven Bilic has overseen their move from Upton Park to the London Stadium, and is taking charge of his third successive campaign with the Club.
Slaven Bilic on Albion:
“West Brom had a good start but for me, it’s no surprise because they were really good last season. They were like the first ones to secure their [Premier League] status apart from the big teams in the top six.
“They started well this year, and okay, they drew and lost one recently, but the games they won they won with typical results and a style.
“It’s not a big surprise for me. They have invested some money and they’re always very hard to beat. They’re a good team.
“Of course, it’s early days but teams like West Brom – Stoke, Watford, Huddersfield as well – they have done what we wanted to do and showed it can be done. But with a good run of results you can catch them up quite easily.”
Tony Pulis on West Ham:
“They are a good side and I have a lot of time for Slaven and when you look at the squad and what they have got it’s a very strong Premier League side.
“When you look at Ayew and Lanzini who didn’t start that game, players of that ilk, around the group, they’ve paid a lot of money for, Arnautovic, who didn’t start either.
"So they’ve got a lot of match-winners so they might be where they are at the moment, but I don’t expect them to stay there.”
Hal Robson-Kanu is available for the Baggies after completing a three-match suspension. Nacer Chadli, Oliver Burke and Gareth McAuley remain doubts. Marko Arnautovic also returns from suspension for the Hammers, while Mark Noble, Manuel Lanzini and Edimilson Fernandes are all out.
Last time out
It took a 94th minute equaliser from Gareth McAuley for Albion to salvage a 2-2 draw the last time the two sides met back in February.
Nacer Chadli had originally put the Baggies in front after six minutes, but second half goals from Sofiane Feghouli and Manuel Lanzini looked to have given West Ham the win before McAuley popped up in added time to ensure a share of the spoils.
From the archive
Here’s the highlights of our last game against West Ham.
- Following his goal against Brighton last weekend, James Morrison has now scored 29 times in the Premier League - leaving him just one short of record holder Peter Odemwingie.
- Should Jonny Evans start against West Ham, it will be his 200th Premier League start.
- If Gareth Barry features at all versus The Hammers then he will equal Ryan Giggs’ record of 632 Premier League appearances, and if he starts then he will be the first player ever to do so 600 times in the Premier League.
- Javier Hernandez has scored three goals and got himself two assists in five Premier League matches against Albion.
- The Hammers have lost two and drawn eight of their last 13 league games against the Baggies, with both of the defeats coming at The Hawthorns.
- West Ham have scored eight goals in their last four matches against Albion.
Head to head
This will be the 104th competitive meeting between the two sides. The Baggies have won 40 times, West Ham have recorded 39 wins and the other 24 matches have ended in draws.
Tickets are now on sale and are priced at £30 adults, £24 seniors (60+), £20 full-time students/young adults (22 and under) and £12 juniors (under-17s).
Under-11s with a Baggie Bird’s Brigade membership can get their hands on a ticket for just £7 when selecting seats in the West Stand Family Area and accompanied by a full paying adult.
Tickets can be purchased online, in person from the East Stand Ticket Office or by calling 0121 227 2227.
Follow the game
Comprehensive coverage of the clash with West Ham is available in our new Match Centre, where you can listen to free live commentary on WBA Radio or follow our live text feed.
WBA Radio is the only service that allows Baggies fans around the world - from Smethwick to the Sahara - access to uninterrupted live commentaries from every one of our competitive games. Join Gez Mulholland and Dave Bowler for Baggies-biased live commentary on Saturday.
You’ll also be able to find score updates on the club's social media channels.
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