Season So Far
Last term’s surprise eighth-place finishers are currently only being kept off the foot of the Premier League table by Sunderland, who they face next time out at the Hawthorns.
A relatively straightforward opening set of fixtures has seen home losses against Southampton and Swansea, but draws at Everton and Fulham – the latter courtesy of a 90th-minute equaliser from defender Gareth McAuley – suggest Steve Clarke’s Baggies will be dogged if nothing else in this campaign.
Despite finishing last season in their highest ever Premier League position, the West Brom faithful have not seen their side win at home in six league games stretching back to the 2-1 defeat of Swansea in March.
Their next opponents Sunderland had a perfectly legitimate Jozy Altidore equaliser rubbed out by referee Martin Atkinson against Arsenal and can atone for that 3-1 defeat next time out by holding Clarke’s men to a draw at 23/10.
None of West Brom’s league matches have produced over two goals so far this season and with Paolo Di Canio unable to squeeze more than a single goal out of his players thus far in Sunderland’s four league games, it would be folly to expect too much action around Boaz Myhill and Kieran Westwood’s six-yard boxes in this tie.
All the early evidence points to a bet on under 2.5 goals at 4/5.
With Shane Long and Matej Vydra injured, Nicolas Anelka has been relied on to lead the line for the Baggies, but the much-travelled Frenchman has thus far failed to score for his new club.
New £6m signing from Everton Victor Anichebe will be fancied to net against the Black Cats having made his debut at the weekend, but England Under-21 star Saido Berahino – the only West Brom striker to score this season when bagging a Capital One Cup hat-trick against Newport – should be kept an eye on in the ‘to score at any time’ market, having got on for the last 12 minutes against the Cottagers.
Other Notable Trends
Sunderland have not won on the road in four Premier League matches stretching back to their 3-0 win at Newcastle in April. West Brom have taken all three points in just one of their last 13 Premier League fixtures.