West Ham desperate to bounce back against Barnsley
The Hammers will go into Saturday’s home clash with something to prove against a side that had been in fine form before last weekend’s extraordinary loss
After the misery of last Saturday’s defeat at Reading, the prospect of playing against an in-form Barnsley team at Upton Park this weekend must have been a worrying one for some West Ham fans.
That is until the Oakwell club’s extraordinary capitulation at home to Ipswich Town on Saturday evening.
They had won their previous four matches, but against the Tractor Boys they somehow threw away a two-goal lead against a side who had lost their last seven games, to lose 5-3.
It was a result that saw Keith Hill’s side slip to 12th place in the table with a negative goal difference, but be under no illusions, this will be no pushover for the Hammers on Saturday.
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Barnsley have lost more games at home this season than they have on the road and their three away victories have included the notable scalps of Reading (2-1) and Leeds United (2-1) as well as Peterborough (4-3).
Goals have certainly been a feature of their games and they seem to have two in-form strikers in Ricardo Vaz Te, who has managed seven this season, and this week’s one to watch Craig Davies, who has notched eight.
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With Jason Butterfield adding five from midfield, they have few worries going forward and it will just be a case of whether they can find some defensive form to match that attacking prowess.
History suggests that the Yorkshiremen may have a tough time at Upton Park.
They lost 2-0 there in the FA Cup in January, despite a spirited display, while another FA Cup tie back in 2009 ended 3-0.
Their last league trip was back in 1998 when they were hammered 6-0 so that is 11 goals without reply in their last three visits.
The last time they won at Upton Park was back in 1987 when they beat the Hammers 5-2 in extra time in the League Cup after the Hammers had led 2-0, while their only league win came back in 1919!
West Ham will be desperate to bounce back from the Reading defeat and they should just manage it.
Possible team: Steele, Foster, Wiseman, Hassell, McNulty, O’Brien, Perkins, Butterfield, Haynes, Vaz Te, Davies.
West Ham United 2 Barnsley 1