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MATCH PREVIEW - WEST HAM

PUBLISHED

18:43 16th August 2013

by Steve Garland

A look at our opening Barclays Premier League opponents

West Ham United v Cardiff City
Venue: Upton Park (Capacity: 35,303)
Date: 17th August 2013, KO 3pm
Nav it: E13 9AZ
City’s long wait for Barclays Premier League football will come to an end on Saturday as they take to the pitch as a top flight team for the first time in 51-years to take on West Ham United at Upton Park.

MATCH FACTS

- City boss Malky Mackay returns to his former club where he made 22 appearances for the Hammers between 2004-05, winning promotion to the Premier League before joining Watford in the summer of 2005.
- This will be the 52nd meeting between Cardiff City and West Ham United in all competitions. West Ham have won on 27 occasions when the sides have met, the Bluebirds winning just 9, drawing 15.
- City’s last win at Upton Park came in the first game of the 2011-12 Championship season as Kenny Miller scored a last minute winner to grab a 1-0 away victory for the Bluebirds.

KennyMiller_WestHam_600

RECENT NEWS

Stewart Downing West Ham United completed the signing of 29-year old England International Stewart Downing on Tuesday for a reported £5 million fee from Liverpool. 

The former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa winger made 91 appearances in all competitions for the Reds in just over two years at Anfield and arrives at Upton Park looking to stake his place for England’s World Cup squad next summer.

Following his move Downing said: “I'm very excited. It's a great opportunity for me being here, it's a great club and I'm really excited to get going.

"I've played a decent few games for Liverpool in pre-season, so there will be no problems on that front."

KEY PLAYER 

Kevin Nolan  - The heart of a Sam Allardyce midfield for many a year, Kevin Nolan has been a regular part of the Hammers line-up since joining them as a Championship side in the summer of 2011 from Newcastle United. 
Nolan made 38 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers last season, also adding his fair share of goals with ten from the midfield an added bonus for Allardyces’ side in the Premier League. Nolan has been in good form in the Hammers’ pre-season as well with three goals, suggesting a similar season in the Premier League could be on the way for the Liverpool born Captain.

IN-FORM PLAYER

Ravel Morrison - The former Manchester United midfielder returned to Upton Park this summer following last season’s loan spell with Championship outfit Birmingham City and he has certainly been keen to impress in pre-season. 

Morrison has scored six goals for the Hammers during their pre-season preparations, including an impressive double against Sporting Lisbon and has been tipped for a good season by Captain Nolan.

Ravel_Morrison_600

PRE-SEASON FORM

West Ham:WWWLW

6-2 W (Cork City), 3-0 W (Boreham Wood), 2-0 W (Bournemouth), 2-1 W (Colchester United), 1-4 L (FSV Mainz), 3-1 W (Hamburg), 3-0 W (Eintracht Braunschweig), 3-2 W (Sporting Lisbon), 0-1 L (Sporting Braga), 2-1 W (Pacos de Ferreira).

Cardiff City:  WDLWW

4-3 W (Forest Green), 1-1 D (Cheltenham Town), 2-3 L (Brentford), 1-0 W (Chievo), 2-1 W (Athletic Club).

LAST MEETING:

2011-12 Championship Play-off semi-final second leg, Upton Park – West Ham United 3-0 Cardiff City

REFEREE - Howard Webb

Rotherham born Referee Howard Webb has refereed a number of notable matches during his career which culminated in him becoming the first person to referee the finals of the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup in the same year.

Webb has drawn praise for his authoritative and respected approach to refereeing from football bodies, pundits, colleagues, players, and managers. City have a long record with Webb stretching back over 10 years to the 2003 play off final victory over QPR at the Millennium Stadium.

Last season he issued 148 yellow cards and 5 red cards in 42 matches.

Watch our match preview In the City show below.