Saturday, 11 February 2017

Carroll to Feature Against Baggies but Defence is the Key for Hammers


The mood is good at Planet Hammers right now with 6 wins in the last nine and plenty of the first team hitting good form. Perched in 9th position in the league, Slaven Bilic's men are 5 points behind today's opponents West Brom.

Looking at the overall table, Slaven Bilic was coy during Thursday's press conference when asked what final position/points haul he was hoping for, identifying 40 points as 'the first target'. With Man United 14 points clear of the Hammers in sixth, a European spot looks a tall task.

In team news, the big question has been whether Andy Carroll will play today. On that subject Bilic was not able to offer a definitive response but confirmed that Carroll has not trained all week.

However, David Gold has hinted on twitter that the big man will appear at some point and with Gareth Southgate likely to visit fir a look at Carroll (and Antonio) and the prospect of a Dubai break to follow Bilic may be tempted to take a risk.

Meanwhile, Cheik Kouyate looks set to continue at right back and along with Aaron Cresswell will hold the key to today's encounter. The Baggies are tough customers under Pulis and with Matt Philips and Nacer Chadli out wide can be a real attacking threat as the Hammers discovered at the Hawthorns earlier this season where they were 4-0 down just after half time. A spirited comeback was quelled by the intelligent Pulis and the game ended in a frustrating 4-2 defeat for Bilic.

Pulis likes to defend on numbers and hit opponents on the break. West ham will thus need to be patient and draw the Baggies out or else risk a repeat of the Hawthorns visit. West Brom are also potent from set pieces so the Hammers will be hoping that Jose Fonte and Winston Reid are getting to know eachother quickly in order to organise what is still a makeshift defence. If not, Soloman Rondon will be waiting!

However, West Brom haven't won away to the Hammers in their last 7 visits - with 2 defeats and 5 draws during that time. The pundits are predicting a draw which is understandable but with the Hammers on a run and Snoddy looking to open his account, we reckon the Hammers might shade it.

COYI

3 comments:

  1. WHY DOES BILLIC KEEP MAKING THESE STUPID LATE SUBS CHANGES SHAPE OF THE TEAM COST US AGAIN NO RECOGNISED CENTRE FORWARD OR RIGHT BACK AGAIN HOW LONG ARE THESE MISTAKES GOING TO BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE

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  2. Awful billic substitions cost us the game

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  3. Manager still praising the players we concede in last minute we should be asking questions why did that happen if we seriously want to be a top six club we need to be much tougher and more profestional if that means a change of manager so be it

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