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West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion – London Stadium – Emirates FA Cup fourth-round – Saturday 3pm
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion – Preview:
Relegation haunted, a mounting injury list and disgruntled supporters have ensured the London Stadium is far from a harmonious place just now.
David Moyes has seen his charges pick up a single victory from his four games since returning to east London and a 4-1 walloping at Leicester City during the week confirmed – if he didn’t already know – that the Scotsman has a huge job on his hands to sail the troubled West Ham United ship to calmer waters.
Former striker, Brian Dear, is as worried as any fan about the clubs continued struggles but is hopeful that a win over West Bromwich Albion and an Emirates FA Cup run could give the whole place a lift as Moyes and Co search for a successful formula.
“It doesn’t look good at the moment,” Dear told Yellow Sport.
“Nothing seems to be going right in the league – we desperately need to find some momentum.
“It remains to be seen whether the manager will make wholesale changes and priorities for the Premier League. To be honest, I don’t think he has too much choice, what with injuries. However, if we can get past West Brom and into the fifth round, it could have a positive effect and springboard everything else.”
West Ham now face an Albion side pushing for promotion under the guidance of their former manager, Slaven Bilic. Nevertheless, Dear insisted there was little room for sentiment.
“Slaven will get a terrific reception from the supporters. I think everyone is pleased to see him doing well at the Hawthorns.
“But we have to take control of this situation. West Brom have also hit a poor patch of late, most recently losing at home to Stoke City. It’s a game we should win and I expect us to. We need to take responsibility and that means bouncing back from that midweek disaster at Leicester.
“The cup offers us a mental break from the league troubles. However, the pressure will ramp up if we don’t do the job properly and find ourselves out of the competition with little left for the fans to look forward to.
“Many people don’t see the FA Cup as important anymore. Personally, I disagree. This is a big game for West Ham and could shape the rest of what has so far been a troubled season – we simply have to take it seriously.”
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion – Head to head:
West Ham United won: 40
West Bromwich Albion won: 40
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion – Last five meetings (all competitions):
April 30, 2016 – Premier League
West Bromwich Albion 0-3 West Ham United
September 17, 2016 – Premier League
West Ham United 4-2 West Bromwich Albion
February 11, 2017 – Premier League
West Ham United 2-2 West Bromwich Albion
September 16, 2017 – Premier League
West Bromwich Albion 0-0 West Ham United
January 2, 2018 – Premier League
West Ham United 2-1 West Bromwich Albion
Brian Dear’s prediction: West Ham United 3-1 West Bromwich Albion
Jeevesie’s prediction: West Ham United 2-1 West Bromwich Albion