West Brom v West Ham: Irons to fuel overdue excitement in Baggies

Despite starting the season at right back, Michail Antonio is joint-top Premier League goalscorer
Despite starting the season at right back, Michail Antonio is joint-top Premier League goalscorer

West Ham almost always go over 2.5 goals away, and there is no reason why that shouldn't continue at West Brom...

"Every one of West Ham’s past eight league assignments on their travels delivered three goals or more."

Back over 2.5 goals @ 2.3411/8

West Brom 2.89/5 v West Ham 2.9215/8; The Draw 3.259/4
Saturday, 15:00

Ref Watch: Mark Clattenburg

The big-match magnet has been getting more card-happy as the first few rounds have unfolded, starting with a three-booking showing and then escalating to four and six, the latter in the Manchester derby.

West Brom

Despite undermining new signing Hal Robson-Kanu to score points in his battle with his bosses, losing away to winless Bournemouth and the rumours that Roy Hodgson could soon return to The Hawthorns, Tony Pulis remains in charge at West Brom for now.

The new owners' investment in Brendan Galloway (loan), Allan Nyom, Nacer Chadli, Matt Phillips and the Wales forward reportedly gave the former Stoke boss the numbers that he was hoping for, but seemingly not the quality.

At least four of the arrivals should be available against West Ham, with long-term injury victim Chris Brunt the lone confirmed absentee. Robson-Kanu's fitness is the only other question mark.

West Ham

If the discontent around West Brom is no shock - Pulis was already out of favour with many fans long before this campaign - the discord at West Ham following last term's seventh place and the move to the London Stadium is more surprising.

Their sole win in six came when Bournemouth had a player sent off, while they have suffered three successive defeats. The return to fitness of Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet was supposed to fix the ills and mask the defensive failings, yet in their first start of 2016/17, the Irons blew a 2-0 lead to flop 4-2 at home to Watford.

Injuries provide another headache for Slaven Bilic, who is expected to be without sidelined trio Aaron Cresswell, Andre Ayew and Andy Carroll, as well as striker Diafra Sakho.

Match Odds

Neither sides' stats establish them as a concrete win bet, which is probably why there is so little between the pair in the betting, which determines West Brom as 2.89/5 favourites ahead of West Ham at 2.9215/8.

The Baggies are without success in six straight outings in front of the fanbase, losing four, and their opponents have won a mere one of their last nine away days and none of the five since their 3-0 victory in the Black Country in April.

Their chances of repeating or improving upon those three points are damaged by the fact that they haven't won twice in a row at the venue since 2003, being beaten on two of their most recent four visits.

Over 2.5 Goals

Because West Brom's four Premier League fixtures to date in 2016/17 have served up a paltry five strikes in total, you can find plump odds of 2.3411/8 on over 2.5 goals.

However, over half of that total were fired in a single encounter with Everton and West Ham are another club with a flair for squeezing whatever sense of adventure does exist within Pulis and his Baggies squad out of them.

Their last three home games against the east Londoners all went high, as have every one of the stadium-switchers' past eight league assignments on their travels.

Recommended Bet:

Back over 2.5 goals @ 2.3411/8

And what do Opta say?

West Ham have scored in their last 17 league games - both teams to score is trading at around 2.021/1 for this showdown.

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