Often Partisan

Hammer the Hammers? The West Ham Preview

Boxing Day sees the visit of the high-flying Hammers of West Ham United to St Andrews as Blues look to bounce back from defeat at Crystal Palace.

West Ham United

West Ham have a few injury problems prior to this fixture with Matt Taylor, Winston Reid and Sam Baldock all definitely out whilst Julien Faubert, Abdoulaye Faye and John Carew are all doubtful for the trip to Birmingham. Jack Collison is suspended for this game but Joey O’Brien could return after a ban.

West Ham are in good form overall, with four wins in their last six games, scoring nine goals and conceding seven. They’ve only failed to score twice in their last ten games, and have kept five clean sheets in that time. Their overall away record is excellent with seven wins on the road, which is equal best in the division with Middlesbrough, and they have scored the most away goals with eighteen.

Birmingham City

Blues have no real injury problems in the squad with Ridgewell and Beausejour having returned to training after picking up knocks; although Liam will have his work cut out ousting the impressive David Murphy from his left back berth. Curtis Davies is suspended for this fixture after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Crystal Palace meaning Spaniard Pablo Ibanez should slot in in central defence as cover.

Blues’ league form isn’t good; only seven points from their last possible eighteen, although Blues are the only team in the division apart from Southampton who have not been beaten at home. Blues also boast the best home defensive record, conceding only four goals at St Andrews although it’s been nine league games since they last kept a clean sheet (against Brighton and Hove Albion at home).

Along with Pablo coming in at centre back, I wouldn’t be surprised to see changes made in midfield and attack. I suspect Redmond will be dropped on the left flank, to be replaced either by Wade Elliott or maybe Jean Beausejour if the Chilean is fit; I think we could well see Wood partnering King up front with the ineffective Nikola Zigic once again left to sit on the bench.

I’m not one normally for negative predictions but I can’t see us winning this one. Times have changed somewhat since that famous victory after extra time in the Carling Cup back in January and I think West Ham have managed relegation somewhat better than we have. I’m hoping that our resilient home form will be enough to repel the Hammers and we might scrape a 1-1 draw. For those who can’t go, the match is live on Sky Sports 1, kick off at 17:30.

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18 Responses to “Hammer the Hammers? The West Ham Preview”

  • skareggae72 says:

    I wonder if Sulli/Gold will be in attendance,or will they choose to watch the game from the comfort of there mansions?.
    According to Mr Sullivan the hammers were £110million in debt pre-season,but still managed to hold on to internationals Rob Green & Carlton Cole,& also bring in Kevin Nolan+Bentley,& Lansbury(loan).
    If they dont go up you get the feeling they will be in big trouble,if we dont go up,i really dont think we would be affected in any serious way,not that much would change.

  • Violent Pacifist says:

    A walkover for the ammers am afraid :(

  • daddyblue says:

    Tend to agree Vi Kro4ever

  • GoodyBlueShoes says:

    Maybe it is a case of heart over head but I have a strange feeling we might turn them over. Form and team stats tell it otherwise; but it’s a funny old game. . . .what a Christmas present that would be eh!

  • AR says:

    I’m glad I don’t sit next to Violent Pacifist (that is if he knows the way from Witton). Does he ever say anything positive about Blues?

  • skareggae72 says:

    Looking at our home record in the championship i cant see it being a walkover,very likely we will have most of the possesion,but less efforts on goal “football is a microcosm of life,in which the rewards do not always match the effort” a draw is the likely outcome.

  • DoctorD says:

    Heart says 2-1. Head says 1-1. Painful unexpected reality check says 1-3.

  • bluenoseneil says:

    I agree a win will be hard and frankly unexpected as The Hammers have form and squad strength firmly on their side. But I am a Bluenose so I believe we can do it!
    Violent Pacifist – I reckon there would be a few queuing up to relieve u of that season ticket and give the fans around u a well earned rest. At least TRY and be positive once in a while.
    After all it IS Christmas ;0)

    • Violent Pacifist says:

      A few queuing up :)

      Get real, we’re struggling for 17,000

      I am being positive, I’m positive we’ll lose and loads of our brilliant fans stay at home leaving empty seats everywhere y’know like the last few home games.

  • Jaffa says:

    Happy Christmas all you true Blue Noses.Is that Violent Pacifist a Vile fan in disguise.By the way,does anybody know what has happend to Peter Pannu?

  • Violent Pacifist says:

    Jaffa :)

  • GoodyBlueShoes says:

    I think I saw Pannu outside of Rackhams with white beard and red suit. Also had a big sack next to him – totally empty. . .

  • DoctorD says:

    Already losing 1-0 after four minutes in the game.

  • Blooflame says:

    Oh Dear! Just watched the West Ham game and thought how much like a school team Blues looked in the first half. King was the most guilty up front,refusing to play as a team member,trying in vain time and again to get past his Man. How much better in the second half.
    Murphy managed a decent Goal but he is playing like a player with limits.
    Poor decision making by most players hindered progress, including surprisingly (for me), Beausejour. The sight of Myhill, still full of Xmas pudding, waddling off his line sunk my heart. His reactions are poor.
    For me Murphy is an average Championship player, Myhill is a poor Championship player, Ibanez average (taking his compulsory 5 minute lie down at the slightest knock) and why is Spector even there? Where are those fine tuned Athletes?. Burke is such a sharp and able player who wouldn’t look out of place in the Premiership. Poor old Redmond has now arrived in the League and finds it much more difficult. I am only relying on prayers for promotion at the minute, which isn’t a good plan for an assault on the Championship.

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