Can West Ham break their home duck against Portsmouth?
Sam Allardyce’s boys look to emulate their impressive away form at Upton Park on Saturday.
West Ham will go into Saturday’s clash with Portsmouth full of confidence and buoyed by their new signings, but there will also be plenty of nerves when they step out at Upton Park for the first Saturday home game of the season.
They may have been magnificent on the road this season, but at home they have just a single point from a draw with Leeds United, while they have lost to both Cardiff City and Aldershot.
Furthermore, they have beaten Pompey only once in their last five attempts at Upton Park, enough to give manager Sam Allardyce one or two palpitations.
The visitors are also unbeaten on their travels this season after a 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough and a 0-0 stalemate with Bristol City.
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That’s enough negative thoughts though. West Ham’s one win against Portsmouth came last time they met back on Boxing Day 2009 when Alessandro Diamanti and Radoslav Kovac (yes, Kovac!) gave them an easy 2-0 win.
Pompey have one of the smallest squads in the division, but do boast one or two players of note.
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Dave Kitson (left) has an excellent record against the Hammers, including a hat-trick way back in 2005 and he will be the one to watch.
They also have former Hammers Hayden Mullins and Tal Ben Haim, while the ageing Kanu is likely to come off the bench as usual, but always poses a threat.
Benjani has returned from Blackburn to add some firepower, while Luke Varney arrived from Derby County in the summer.
Portsmouth have won only one game this season and Saturday is unlikely to see them add to that.
Possible team: Ashdown, Halford, Ben Haim, Pearce, Ward, Lawrence, Mullins, Mokoena, Norris, Kitson, Varney.
Prediction: West Ham 3 Portsmouth 0
For interactive coverage of West Ham v Portsmouth from Upton Park this weekend log on to http://www.london24.com//sport/other/west-ham-chat.
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