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West Ham v West Brom: Song urges Hammers to hit the right notes

Alex Song has urged West Ham to “show something different” to their fans when West Brom visit Upton Park in the Premier League on Sunday.

West Ham remain sixth following an excellent start to life under Slaven Bilic, but they have taken a solitary point from their past four matches and suffered a 4-1 London derby thrashing against Tottenham last time out.

Song made the first appearance of his second consecutive season-long loan from Barcelona as a late substitute in the White Hart Lane defeat and the Cameroon international hopes to play his part in a change of fortunes if he returns to the starting line-up.

“We have a very big game on Sunday and it is a game that we want to win,” the midfielder told West Ham’s official website. “We need to work hard in training and show a different kind of performance against West Brom.

“It is very important for us to show the fans that we have a good character and that we want to put things right after what happened last weekend.

“At home we need to show the fans what they want to see. They expect us to play football and it will be a different game. We have to score more goals and we need to be the boss at home.

“The way we played against Spurs was not good and we want to get back playing how we performed at the start of the season when we had some great results – especially away from home.

“We want to show something different on Sunday. We have to dominate the game and show them how we want to play from the opening part of the game.”

Song’s fellow midfielder Pedro Obiang is also back in contention following a thigh problem, but attackers Dimitri Payet and Enner Valencia remain unavailable to Bilic due to ankle injuries.

Bilic’s start to life at West Ham drew praise from Tony Pulis, but the West Brom boss was also keen to credit the job done by his long-time contemporary and the Croatian’s predecessor Sam Allardyce.

“I thought Sam did smashing at West Ham. He laid the foundations,” Pulis said.

“They were relegated, he got them promoted the next year and then they pushed on.

“Slaven’s come on and he’s put a bit of gloss on it in respect of the players he’s brought in.

“He’s one of theirs, I’ve been impressed with him. I’ve spoken to him a few times. From the few times I’ve met him, I think he’s a real good football man.”

Veteran defender Gareth McAuley returns from suspension for the visitors, while midfielder Chris Brunt will serve a ban of his own.

Goalkeeper Ben Foster (knee) is Pulis’ only confirmed injury absentee, but he is also set to make a late decision on a number of unnamed players who are fitness doubts following their exertions in last weekend’s impressive 2-1 win over Arsenal.

“We’ve picked up a few injuries,” he added. “I’m not going to tell you who they, but it’s a concern for us going into Sunday’s game.

“We won’t know until Sunday morning, but there’s one or two knocks and niggles that we’ve come out of the Arsenal game with.”


Key Opta stats
– Six of the last nine Premier League meetings between West Ham and West Brom have ended as draws, with United winning two and Albion chalking up a solitary triumph.
– Saido Berahino has scored in four of his five appearances against West Ham in all competitions.
– West Ham have conceded the highest proportion of first-half goals in the Premier League, 13 of their 20 overall which amounts to 65 per cent.
– Only bottom club Aston Villa (34) have had fewer shots on target than West Brom (39) this season.
– West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini has scored in each of the last three Premier League matches where he has played the full 90 minutes.

Fri 27 Nov, 2015
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