West Ham United travel to Cardiff City on Saturday for a hugely crucial encounter between two of the Premier League’s bottom four clubs, and both managers will be under the spotlight.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes charge of his first home game as Cardiff boss, and will be given a positive reception despite many of the supporters’ ill feelings about the departure of Malky Mackay. The Norwegian got off to a good start, beginning his reign with an impressive FA Cup win at Newcastle United, and he has already made one new signing, that of compatriot Magnus Wolff Eikrem.
However, defeat here will leave the Bluebirds in the drop zone, and this game is equally massive, if not more so, to West Ham and their beleaguered manager Sam Allardyce. The Hammers are under severe pressure to perform, having surrendered to heavy defeats twice in four days. There should be no excuses for the shambles at Manchester City on Wednesday, but Allardyce is strong enough and experienced enough to help them improve their situation.
Eikrem is in line to make his debut for Cardiff, who will assess the fitness of midfielder Jordon Mutch and full backs Kevin Theophile-Catherine and Andrew Taylor before kick-off.
The visitors are hoping that Andy Carroll will be fit enough to be on the bench after his long-term foot injury. Kevin Nolan is still suspended, and Winston Reid, James Tomkins and Ricardo Vaz Te are all injured, while Mark Noble and Joey O’Brien are both carrying knocks.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Cardiff