Date: 15th August 2011 at 12:25pm
Written by:

AFTER SATURDAY’S defeat by Derby County at the Vic’, Watford have the chance to get back to winning ways with a visit from Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United outfit.

Undoubtedly the big-boys of the division, the Hammers got their season up and running with a 1-0 win at Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.

The Iron will be expecting to return to the top-flight at the first-time of asking and with an experienced squad, full of quality, plus their vociferous support and the guidance of Sam Allardyce, the ingredients are all in place for a successful campaign.

It’s been a busy summer for new gaffer Allardyce who has began to re-construct the Bolton Wanderers ‘class of 2005’ side, bringing Kevin Nolan in from Newcastle, Abdoulaye Faye from Stoke and Joey O’Brien and Matty Taylor from Wanderers themselves.

Perhaps the stand-out signing though has been the recent capture of former Aston Villa striker and Norway international, John Carew. The powerful former Valencia forward was released at the end of the season by Villa and has linked up with the East London outfit on a free transfer this week. The 31 year-old isn’t fit enough to be involved just yet but Championship defences – beware, he will be.

The exit door has been busy too, but not as busy as was expected with star names Rob Green, Scott Parker and Carlton Cole still at the Boleyn Ground – for now at least.

All this creates a formidable side, littered within are a number of exciting academy graduates such as Jordan Spence, Freddie Sears, Jack Collison and James Tomkins.

On paper it all looks a good blend, prime for promotion but as we all know by know, the Championship is a long, hard slog and nothing can be taken for granted.

It’s sure to be a bumpy ride for the Hammers.

Probable Teams:

Loach; Doyley, Mariappa, Taylor, Dickinson; Yeates, Jenkins, Eustace (c), Forsyth; Sordell and Deeney.

West Ham United: Green; O’Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Ilunga; Collison, Parker, Noble, Taylor; Nolan (c); Piquionne.

Officials: (R) Mr D Whitestone; (AR’s) Mr I Cooper & Mr A Horton; (4th) Mr D Rock.