The Runner Sports

Match Preview: West Ham At West Brom

West Ham will look to continue their winning ways as they travel up country to face off with West Bromwich Albion. West Brom look poised to add to their seven points in four games stretch with another result over West Ham. While the East London Hammers looks to keep the positive momentum moving after their first win of the season over Huddersfield.

West Brom comes into this match 9th in the table after beginning the season with 1-0 wins against Bournemouth and Burnley, and a tie against Stoke City. However, the West Brom Baggies shipped three goals against in a 3-1 loss to newly promoted Brighton and Hove Albion. Being Brighton’s first win of their Premier League campaign, this is a disheartening stat, as well, the Seagulls had not scored until slotting three passed rated keeper Ben Foster in this match.

West Ham handed Huddersfield their first loss of their Premier League debut season, as well as scored their first goals against. A deflected shot from Pedro Obiang in the 72nd minute was followed up by a goal by Andre Ayew after a corner kick to lift the Hammers to victory. Possession stats were in Huddersfield’s favor at 57% but their attack could rarely penetrate the holding midfield duo of Obiang and Cheikou Kouyate, and could not handle the wingback pressure of Aaron Cresswell and Pablo Zabaleta.

West Ham are challenged moving forward by a fit player and a suspended player rejoining their team. With success coming from a formation with three centerbacks, West Ham is put into a tough position with finding space for the aerial beast Andy Carroll at striker and returning bad boy Marko Arnautovic on the leftwing. It is a positive problem to have, having too many fit starting players, but it will be challenging for manager Slaven Bilic to balance. To resolve this issue there are two general formations that Bilic could look to implement:

3-4-3:

LW: Arnautovic ST: Chicharito RW: Antonio
LWB: Cresswell CM: Obiang CM: Kouyate RWB: Zabaleta
CB: Collins CB: Reid CB: Fonte/Ogbonna

This formation would have Andy Carroll and Andre Ayew as impact subs from the bench to secure points or seal a victory.

 

4-2-4:

LW: Arnautovic ST: Carroll ST: Chicharito RW: Antonio

LW: Arnautovic ST: Carroll ST: Chicharito RW: Antonio

CM: Obiang CM: Kouyate

LB: Cresswell CB: Collins/Fonte/Ogbonna CB: Reid RB: Zabaleta

This formation would reserve Ayew as an impact sub as well, but would also be more attack based, leaving a back-four on defense including the leftback and rightback positions that would stay defensively minded in the match.

 

 

With momentum on West Ham’s side, and a potentially disheartened West Brom team, the Hammers should look to hammer home an early advantage with the 4-2-4 formation. West Brom is likely without midfielders Nacer Chadli and Oliver Burke due to fitness concerns. This is another positive as Chadli scored a terrific solo effort goal in the last clash of these teams that saw West Brom secure all three points. A win would prove massive for West Ham’s confidence in this season and would surely put them in a stronger position to face off with cross-London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the game to follow.

Adam Smith
Follow me!

Adam Smith

West Ham United Writer at The Runner Sports
Proud supporter of the Claret and Blue, West Ham United!
Actively interested in transfer news, match reports, developing story lines, and all things West Ham United!
Adam Smith
Follow me!