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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020


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West Brom had the chance to move into European contention with victory over West Ham today.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the games. E-mail, tweet @thescore_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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FULL-TIME: West Bromwich Albion 0-0 West Ham United

The teams are in and West Brom make two changes from the defeat to Arsenal with Steven Reid and Liam Ridgewell making way for Billy Jones and Goran Popov.

West Ham’s only change sees Gary O’Neil come in for Mohamed Diame who was forced off during last week’s loss to Liverpool.

West Brom: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Brunt, Morrison, Mulumbu, Gera, Odemwingie, Long. Subs: Daniels, Rosenberg, Dorrans, Lukaku, Dawson, Tamas, Fortune.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Collins, O’Brien, Noble, O’Neil, Jarvis, Nolan, Taylor, Cole. Subs: Spiegel, Tomkins, Maiga, Spence, Moncur, Lletget.

Today’s referee is Phil Dowd.

It’s fair to say that both these teams are probably performing in excess of expectations this season.

West Brom have beaten Chelsea this season and once sat as high as fourth but have lost their last three in a row.

For the away side, a win today will see West Ham move above Arsenal and into seventh.

Football eh?

The last time these two sides met in the Premier League at the Hawthorns, it finished 3-3.

In eight Premier League encounters, West Ham have won three, West Brom two and there have been a pair of draws.

With that in mind, how do you see this one going then?

West Brom get us underway and immediately attack down the right hand side but the Hammers comfortably deal with it.

The home side spring a second attack almost immediately through Billy Jones but he gives away a needless freekick.

Good opening 90 seconds.

West Brom making by far the better start here and Shane Long looked set to open the scoring after a great ball in from the left hand side.

However, the West Ham defence dealt with it very well in the end and the chance game to nothing.

West Ham create their first chance of the game.

A nice diagonal ball from Carlton Cole finds Matthew Taylor but he can’t direct his header on target.

The first ten minutes have flown by here and the West Brom fans are in full voice.

There’s been little in the way of clear cut chances as both teams attempt to feel each other out.

West Brom have a free kick in a good position here but Brunt can only hit the wall and West Ham clear.

The West Ham ‘keeper has been called into action for the first time in the game but Jaaskelainen deals comfortably with Odemwingie’s speculative effort from range.

With nearly 20 minutes gone, it has calmed down a little at the Hawthorns.

By my reckoning, West Ham have had slightly more of the possession but, aside from the odd cross into the West Brom area, have done very little with it.

West Brom have had the games two best chances but  while both shots were on target, neither looked likely to threaten the scoreboard operator.

Shane long almost opens the scoring for West Brom.

He does well to beat a couple of West Ham players on the edge of the box but his shot dribbles just wide of the Hammers’ right-hand post.

Best chance of the game so far.

With half an hour gone, Joey O’Brien picks up the game’s first yellow card.

It wasn’t a terrible tackle, and his first foul of the game, but Phil Dowd decided it was worthy of going in the book.

It should be 1-0 West Ham but New Zealand’s Winston Reid is unable to find the target from six yards.

Great chance for the Hammers and one they could yet come to regret missing.

He ‘nearly’ scores goals, Carlton Cole.

A cracking shot from 25 yards forces Myhill to punch it away and, luckily for West Brom supporters, no West Ham player is there to follow it up.

The Hammers are growing in confidence in this game with 10 minutes to half-time.

This is the most exciting thing to happen in the last five minutes.

I’d like one of those hats. I’m going to have to find out where he got it.

Image: YouTube screengrab

West Ham have the last chance of the first half but the free kick is wasted and Phil Dowd blows his whistle for half-time.

It’s not the best game of football I’ve watched by any means but hasn’t been the snore-fest many predicted either.

Both sides are lacking quality in the final third and it speaks volumes that the best chances of the game have come from long range efforts.

It’s a cliché, I know, but a goal would really spark this game into life.

And we’re off for the second half.

Great start to the second half from West Brom.

A searching ball in from Odemwingie causes havoc in the West Ham area and Winston Reid just manages to clear it for a corner.

That is cleared for another corner from which West Ham clear off the line.

Two corners later and West Ham can finally breathe a sigh of relief as Morrison’s shot goes harmlessly wide.

And now it’s West Ham’s turn.

Gary O’Neil’s shot from the edge of the area look destined for the back of the net before swinging just wide.

Game on here.

Everything has calmed down now again at the Hawthorns with the game settling into a similar pattern to the first half.

That said, West Brom have just created another chance with Shane Long coming close to opening the scoring.

The Irish striker followed up Zoltan Gera’s shot after Jaaskelainen could only parry it away. The West Ham keeper then plucked Long’s shot from just beneath his crossbar.

Shane Long denied yet again.

An inch perfect pass in from Peter Odemwingie is just cleared by Winston Reid.

The corner comes to nothing for the home team.

All the best chances are now falling to Irishmen.

A floated free kick from Noble finds Joey O’Brien at the far post but he’s unable to get his shot on target.

In fairness, it was an acute angle.

Here’s my Psychic Steve moment but if West Brom are going to score, it will be a Peter Odemwingie cross from the left to Shane Long.

All of the Baggies’ best chances are coming from that combination.

I’ve probably jinxed it now though.

West Brom hit the woodwork.

James Morrison climbs higher than everyone from a corner but he just can’t find the back of the net.

Looks like this game is there for the taking for the home side.

Meanwhile, Gera has been withdrawn for West Brom to be replaced by Lukaku while Maiga has come on for Jarvis for West Ham

Carlton Cole is adjudged to have fouled Gareth McAuley in the West Brom area but it looks a harsh decision.

However, his shot didn’t beat Myhill anyway so the Hammers can’t have too many complaints.

Ten minutes left and James Tomkins comes on to replace Guy Demel for West Ham.

Carlton Cole picks up a knock in his own area defending a West Brom corner. It’s little more than a bloody lip though.

Shane Long doesn’t look at all happy to be replaced by Markus Rosenberg and, with that substitution, my prediction goes down the drain.

Kevin Nolan and Youssouf Mulumbu both pick up yellow cards having heated words with each other.

The Mulumbu booking means he will miss West Brom’s game against Norwich as it’s his fifth of the season.

Tomkins also picks up a card for West Ham.

And that’s that from the Hawthorns where it’s finished 0-0.

Very odd game here.

The stats people tell me there were 29 shots in the game, 12 of which found the target. Of those, West Brom had by far the Lion’s share with 10.

They looked the more likely team to score and, though they’ll be disappointed not to win at home, they have at least stopped the rot after three defeats on the bounce.

For West Ham, this is a good draw away from home but, with a win taking them up to seventh, they might feel like this is two points lost.

And that’s it from me today.

As always, thanks for reading and feel free to let us know what you thought of the game in the comments below.

About the author:

Steve O'Rourke