Both Tony Pulis and Slaven Bilic find themselves under monumental pressure ahead of Saturday’s Premier League fixture that sees West Bromwich Albion host West Ham United. West Ham had a very strong last season and were expected to build on it this term but have failed to do so. On the other hand, West Brom have looked as uninspiring as ever this season and are on the back of a poor 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth heading into the game.
West Ham have won just one game this season in the Premier League which was a narrow 1-0 affair against Bournemouth. They are coming on the back of a 2-4 defeat at the hands of Watford from Saturday where the Hornets overturned a 0-2 deficit in an amazing fashion. With both sides desperate for results, this will be a game to look forward to.
Here are three key battles those could decide this crucial game.
Dimitri Payet Vs Craig Dawson
Payet is the lynchpin of the West Ham team and the Hammers sorely missed the amazing Frenchman when he was unavailable for selection earlier this season. Right after his comeback, Payet had a sensational game against Watford last week setting up both of the two Michail Antonio goals but his teammates let him down by letting Watford come back in a sensational fashion to win the game 4-2. West Brom right-back Craig Dawson is a full-back who likes to sit deep and defend and will have to deal with the threat Payet poses from the left flank.
Mark Noble Vs Darren Fletcher
West Ham skipper Mark Noble has not been at his best this season. The Englishman likes to control the tempo of the game and set up the foundation of the team from deep with his passes. Even though Noble has registered a passing accuracy of 89.6% this season, his overall control of the game needs to improve. West Brom skipper Fletcher has been largely anonymous this season and had a passing accuracy of just 69.9% which speaks for it. The two captains will battle for the control of the midfield area and we have to wait and see who comes out as the winner.
Winston Reid Vs Salomon Rondon
Jose Salomon Rondon has scored just once this season and was benched for Berahino last week but the Englishman could not impress either. The Venezuela international is likely to make his way back to the starting XI and has to deliver a much-improved display at any cost. Winston Reid has been pretty average this season but still remains the first-choice defender. The Kiwi international will be looking for a much better defensive display to deal with the threat Rondon offers.