The Hammers make the trip upto to The Hawthorns still searching to reach the potentially crucial 40 point mark. It comes as no real surprise to experienced West Ham fans that all was looking well, with regards to staying up, until three defeats on the bounce against Liverpool, Arsenal and Crystal Palace respectively have resurfaced some doubts amongst certain supporters.

West Brom are in better form coming into the game than the away side and as they are well and truly in the relegation battle Allardyce and his men cannot afford to take them for granted and expect a win, much like was seen against Crystal Palace last time out. Furthermore, West Brom did themselves no shame in losing away at Manchester City on Monday night. Although losing 3-1 is never a positive result, personally I think that manager Pepe Mel will have taken plenty from that game as it could be argued that the result did them a slight injustice.

West Brom’s last two Premier League games at home have ended 3-3 against both Cardiff and Tottenham, so Allardyce must be aware that The Baggies will not be afraid to attack. This combined with West Ham’s rather more unimpressive current record of 9 games without a clean sheet does not bode all that well.

With target man Andy Carroll expecting to start, I feel that I speak on behalf of many West Ham fans in saying that it would be a positive change to see someone linking up with him rather than just Allardyce’s best friend, Kevin Nolan. In my opinion Nolan has gone missing several times this season in big games and its time Allardyce gave someone else a run out.

With the likes of Ricardo Vaz Te, Antonio Nocerino and Carlton Cole sat on the bench, all who can provide something totally different to Nolan alongside Carroll up top or playing in a role just off of him.
Vaz Te, who after his legendary play-off final goal back in 2012 has become nothing more than a benchwarmer for most of this season once was a regular on the team sheet with his pace, energy and ability to turn defenders in and out. However, many fans may well have forgotten about the Portuguese striker who I feel has been harshly treated this season.

A win today for The Hammers would ensure Premier League safety for another season, and knowing West Ham like I do, we are not safe until we are mathematically safe! However, West Brom will be desperate to take all three points and stay in the league themselves. I would expect several goals as both teams can pose an attacking threat; this combined with fairly poor defensive records in recent weeks could make for an entertaining game.