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West Brom vs West Ham - Match preview and team news

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By Bryan Waters

Sunday 16 December 2012

West Brom will be hopeful to get their bright start to the season back on track in a home fixture with recently promoted West Ham. The Baggies have suffered three straight defeats, whereas West Ham have had mixed form in a tough last six fixtures.

The Hawthornes

Steve Clarke’s side were third in the table earlier this season, but their poor recent performances have seen them drop into sixth position, still a respectable position for the Baggies. They will be keen on turning their form around as Christmas approaches and the perfect opportunity to do that against the Hammers at the Hawthorns.

Ben Foster has been absent from the last six games and is still a doubt to return in time against West Ham. Since Foster’s injury, West Brom haven’t kept a clean sheet and Clarke will be hopeful his number one can return as soon as possible. Albion are sweating on the fitness of Claudio Yacob and Liam Ridgewell, who are suffering with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively.

The Hammers were beaten 3-2 by Liverpool at home last weekend and have faced Chelsea, Manchester United, Stoke and Tottenham also in their last five outings. Sam Allardyce parted company with first-team coach Wally Downes this week and will be hopeful that will not affect his players, as they look for their third away win of the season. West Ham’s last visit to the Hawthorns saw the visitors gain a point, despite being three goals behind at half-time.

George McCartney’s knee injury suffered in training adds to a lengthy injury list at Upton Park with Mohamed Diame a long-term doubt following his hamstring injury picked up against Liverpool. Allardyce is still without Andy Carroll, so Carlton Cole is expected to keep his place as the lone striker for the Irons.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on West Brom v West Ham

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