It strikes as no coincidence that West Brom simultaneously won their first match and kept their maiden clean sheet of the season when Joleon Lescott made his first start.
The former England international was one of 11 new faces choppered into the Hawthorns this summer following the expiration of his Manchester City contract.
Despite the major squad makeover, the Baggies remain one of the likeliest lads in the relegation mix, available to back for the drop at 7/4, with just three teams afforded shorter prices.
However, the instant improvement Lescott’s ingratiation sparked suggests your money would be much safer if invested in the 21/50 about the Throstles staying afloat this term.
A £12.60 profit can be trousered by those who stake their £30 free bet for opening an account at bwin.com on the outcome and West Brom successfully imitate Bear Grylls by surviving in testing circumstances.
Much like Channel 4’s resident death-defying expert, having the right tools is essential when attempting to avoid being overcome by the elements and, as far as Baggies boss Alan Irvine is concerned, Lescott is his Swiss army knife.
When it comes to skewering multi-legged, cave-dwelling critters to serve as an impromptu source of protein, the 32-year-old is (we assume) not up to much, but he can’t half marshal a defence.
Tottenham mustered just a solitary shot on target during the Birmingham-born stopper’s West Brom bow and the stats indicate more opponent frustration is to come.
Take his last season at the Etihad as a benchmark.
In 15 appearances for the champions, he oversaw ten clean sheets and was present for just four defeats, with the Citizens’ win percentage dropping from 71 to 69 in his absence.
He had the same empowering effect when deployed at the heart of City’s defence during their first Premier League-winning campaign, in which the blue moonies prevailed in 70 per cent of their games with him, as opposed to 60 without.