One of the most significant statistics from last season was the Premier League’s bottom club Aston Villa, who finished 17 points shy of their nearest rival, were the only club to score fewer goals than West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace.
The Baggies netted just 34 times and Palace 39, with the pair each drawing blanks in 14 of their 38 outings.
Neither club have made any great strides this summer in terms of bolstering their striking ranks either, with Alan Pardew so far coming up short in his pursuit of Liverpool’s Christian Benteke. Wide man Andros Townsend does bring a goal threat from Newcastle, though.
West Brom’s only real recruit is Matt Phillips, who has netted 11 goals across the last two campaigns for QPR.
Taking all of this into consideration, it is logical to assume that the 2016/17 opening-day meeting between the two clubs is highly likely to be shown last on Match of the Day because of the expectation that it will be low scoring.
Another factor to support this line of thought is that the Baggies were especially watertight on the road last term, with only four teams conceding fewer than their 22 in 19 away fixtures. They come into this one having lost two of their last three pre-season friendlies, managing only one goal in the process.
However, recent meetings suggest that the opposite is on the cards at Selhurst Park.
In the last three seasons, Palace have faced West Brom on seven occasions across all competitions and all have witnessed a minimum of two goals.
Over half of these encounters have seen exactly two registered and this includes the last pair of Premier League clashes to take place at Selhurst Park.
Back the same number being scored once again at 12/5.
When it comes to picking a winner, West Brom don’t have the greatest track record when it comes to collecting three points on the opening day, doing so only once in the last six seasons since returning to the top flight. Tony Pulis is 14/5 to secure success over one of his previous employer.
Palace are the even-money favourites and should come into this game as the sharper of the two clubs having participated in a Premier League high of nine pre-season friendlies.
The draw is available at 11/5.