Writer: Lord Shepherd
Date:Friday September 12 2008
13 September 2008
So after the long international break the serious action resumes at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
The Baggies have only one point to show for their efforts this season but they go into the game full of confidence after an impressive display against Bolton at the Reebok.
As for West Ham there is the Zola effect. The dimunitive Italian was given his first club management role earlier this week. However, Kevin Keen is likely to be in charge of the team for the game.
The game promises to be a humdinger with both sides set to entertain this season. The departure of Alan Curbishley will surely lift a weight from the shoulders of the Hammers talented players.
Tony Mowbray is keen to see his charges bag a win but is not yet getting desperate:
"All the games are important but I won`t get carried away with the hysteria about what is right or wrong, whether we can score a goal or not or whether we will win or not,"
"I don`t sit here after three games thinking we`re never going to score a goal or win a game.'
"I think we have been decent in the games, the players believe they can play in this league and I think we have shown we are more than capable of competing with the three teams we have played.'
"We need a win to move us off the bottom and it will become more of a problem the longer we don`t win.'
"I`m not stupid, I can see it becomes a problem. People write about it, the players read it and psychologically it starts to get into their head.'
"So the sooner we get a win the sooner people will stop writing about it and the sooner we stick four goals past somebody the sooner people will stop writing that we can`t score goals.'
"The longer we go without a win the longer it becomes an issue."
"We are in the industry of winning games and no manager in history keeps his job if he never wins a match,"
"We have to win a match somewhere along the line but we will win games if the performance levels stay as high it has been - fact.'
"If we win 4-0 this week and 3-0 the following week people will stop talking about it and find something else to talk about."
The Baggies have worries over Gianni Zuiverloon and James Morrison following their international duty and Do-Heon Kim has spent the past 10 days half way around the world so is unlikely to start. Kim's absence could pave the way for Roman Bednar to make his first start of the season in a 4-4-2 formation.
Abou Meite has trained for the last couple of days but the game may come too soon for him and therefore Jonas Olsson or Ryan Donk could make their home debuts.
Team (from): Carson, Kiely, Zuiverloon, Hoefkens, Meite, Barnett, Donk, Olsson, Robinson, Cech, Morrison, Greening, Koren, Kim, Valero, Brunt, Miller, Bednar, Moore, Beattie, Slusarski, MacDonald, Pele, Dorrans.
West Brom's big Czech Republic forward has been begging to start all season and this could well be his opportunity. Expect him to score if he starts.
West Ham have several players suffering with injuries, with Kieran Dyer (broken leg), Jonathan Spector (hip), Danny Gabbidon (groin), James Tomkins (knee) and Jack Collison are all expected to miss out. Loan signings David Di Michele and Henry Ilunga could make their Hammers debuts.
West Ham United: (from) Green, Neill, Ilunga, Lopez, Parker, Ashton, Bellamy, Etherington, Cole, Boa Morte, Upson, Noble, Mullins, Collins, Faubert, Behrami, Lastuvka, Davenport, Reid, Bowyer, Di Michele, Sears, Hines, Stech, Widdowson, Stokes
Ashton will cause problems for any defence and his strength is sure to test the Baggies back line to the full.
The Baggies haven't won a home game against the Hammers in the Premier League in two attempts. Last time out they lost 1-0 to a goal from Nigel Reo-Coker in a defeat that sealed relegation to the Championship in Bryan Robson's great surrender season
3-1 to the Baggies with Bednar to score a brace
Next time up is the big Midlands derby against the oldest of rivals, Aston Villa. Thanks to West Midlands Police for the mid-day kick off!!!
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Date:Friday September 12 2008
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