So after a nervy but deserved win over Premier League newcomers Huddersfield it’s a trip to the Hawthorns to face Tony Pulis’, West Brom.
West Brom started the season very well but would have disappointed to have lost to Brighton last time out and the players will be left in no doubt that they need to improve after last week’s lackluster performance. West Brom are a strong physical side, who a threat from set pieces and are very well drilled. Regardless of his style of football Pullis is a very good manager whose teams are always a tough proposition.
West Ham have won 1 of the last 6 games between the two sides with the Hawthorn being the site of two of the more embarrassing games of recent history a 4-0 reverse in the FA Cup in 2015 and a 4-2 defeat last season which illustrated the huge chasm in the West Ham midfield a feature of some of West Ham’s more abject performances last season.
The quickly developing theme this season is how do we get Hernandez into the team? I thought Antonio and Zabaleta were outstanding on Monday night, however, I don’t think Cresswell has the pace or confidence to play a wing back role and the Midfield pair of Obiang and Kouyate gave the ball away too much for all their athleticism.
Arnautovic can return following his ban and if Noble is fit I would prefer his ability to keep the ball rather than Obiang’s athleticism. I thought Fonte had his best game for the club on Monday and I was impressed with Collins commitment and Reid’s composure in a back three.
After Carroll’s performance on Monday he must start, I would keep the system the same as last week and hopefully build on the confidence the win must give. Hernandez and if fit Lanzini will offer alternatives from the bench.
The system allows flexibility depending on the game situation, 3-4-3 can easily become 3-5-2 without the ball, if West Ham can keep the ball and utilise Carroll’s aerial dominance there is no reason not to expect a positive result
Stk – Carroll
RSF – Antonio