West Ham vs. Barnsley Preview

Npower Championship

Published: 12/12/2011

Both West Ham and Barnsley will be looking to bounce back from crushing defeats when they square off against each other in the Npower Championship on Saturday December 17.

The Hammers were firm favourites to pinch all three points from Reading at the Madejski Stadium but their chances were blown after two sending’s off which left them reduced embarrassingly to nine men.

Thankfully for Sam Allardyce, the loss has not greatly damaged West Ham’s promotion bid and the East Londoners are still sitting pretty in the automatic promotion places.

Nevertheless, Allardyce will be on his team’s case as he seeks to hit back immediately in front of the club’s home supporters, who have left Upton Park disappointed on a few occasions so far this campaign. Barnsley meanwhile will need to shore up their fragile defence which was decimated at home to Ipswich Town.

Simon Davey’s men were in complete command at half time after Ricardo Vaz Te had doubled the Tykes lead following Craig Davies’s early penalty. But a horror show in the second half saw Ipswich net five goals in little over twenty minutes to steel all three points and leave Oakwell in a state of shock.

Barnsley had been producing some decent displays up until that point and the clear worry now is that their confidence and team ethic may ebb away after taking so long to establish.

West Ham will certainly be looking to stick the boot into the Yorkshire men who currently sit in mid table heading into the festive period. On the whole, the Hammers have dealt well with the loss of star man Scott Parker and have pulled together in order to plug the void which the international midfielder has left.

Allardyce wants nothing less than promotion this season and he will want to do it automatically so that he can start his summer spending spree early.

Barnsley will be really up against it in this fixture unless their evident defensive woes have miraculously been cured. The Tykes undoubtedly have the bottle to succeed in the big matches as they showed against Leeds United at Elland Road; however it is their small squad which could ultimately see them wither away.

With Kevin Nolan, Jack Collison and Carlton Cole amongst their ranks, West Ham should be far too strong for their less illustrious opponents who may have to rely on the counter attack and set pieces to make any sort of impact as West Ham are effective at dictating possession and the tempo of the game. 4/7 is never really an attractive price for most football backers however the Hammers should at least successfully contribute towards any weekend multiples or accumulators.

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Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (12/12/2011) but are subject to change.

12/12/2011     © Frixo 2019

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