Tony Pulis tasted his first defeat of the season last weekend as his side were soundly beaten by Brighton at The AMEX by a scoreline of three goals to one. This afternoon they play host to a West Ham side who have finally got off the mark after two late goals against Huddersfield on Monday saw them pick up a vital first win of the campaign.
For West Brom the defeat to Brighton would have come as something of a rude awakening as this was by far their worst performance of the season so far. The Seagulls would race into a 3-0 lead and only James Morrison’s scant consolation made the result slightly respectable. After a solid if not spectacular start to proceedings last weekend would have seen their bubble burst somewhat.
But they will have been able to regroup over the course of the week and will look to bounce back against West Ham this afternoon. Last time these two clubs met at The Hawthorns, the home side found themselves four goals to the good in what was an embarrasing afternoon for the East London outfit, they did manage to eventually halve the deficit and bring it back to a final score of 4-2 but they were soundly beaten by the Baggies.
Therefore Slaven Bilic will be looking to exact some form of revenge for that defeat last season but more importantly he wil be looking to build a good head of steam after finally getting a first win of the season at the start of the week. On an evening that saw the former Croatian international under some pressure going into the game the relief would have palpable when Pedro Obiang broke the deadlock.
It may have taken a massive deflection and been an incredibly fortunate goal in which to open proceedings for the evening but you get the feeling that Bilic whose birthday it was on Monday will not have cared all that much. Sometimes you need that luck and that arguably was the best present that the West Ham manager would have received.
It perhaps comes as no small coincidence that West Ham’s first win of the season saw took place during their first fixture to be played at home. Their barren start was not helped by playing three straight away games due to their stadium being used for the Athletics World Championships. They will have to hope that they do not revert to type when once again on the road this afternoon.
Both West Brom and West Ham are only averaging 1 goal per game so far this season so this will probably not lend itself to too many goals but then again this fixture did warrant 6 last season. So perhaps history is not necessarily something to go by, I think with West Ham looking a different beast away from home I think the slight advantage sits with West Brom and therefore I will go with a home win for the Baggies.
Here is what social media thinks will happen
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 13, 2017