Competition: Premier League – West Bromwich Albion vs Southampton
Venue: Upton Park – Saturday, February 28th – 15:00 GMT (10:00 ET)
Match Odds: West Brom 23/10 – Draw 21/10 – Southampton 13/10
Southampton have been knocked out of the top four after a poor run that has seen them score just one league goal in four games. That came in the last minute at Queens Park Rangers and Ronald Koeman needs to fix things quickly if the Saints are to keep their fight for Champions League football on track until the end of the season.
On paper a trip to West Brom gives Southampton a good chance to get back to winning ways but that will be no easy task against a Baggies side that has lost just one of their last seven in the league.
Tony Pulis has turned things around since taking over and has only lost once in that 3-0 home defeat to Spurs at the end of January.
West Brom have scored six and conceded none in their last three in all competitions with their last home game an impressive 4-0 FA Cup romp against West Ham.
The Baggies drew 0-0 at Sunderland last time out and will be confident of moving further away from the relegation zone this weekend. They currently sit in 14th, five points above the drop zone.
Southampton are now in fifth place but are just one point behind Manchester United in fourth and two behind Arsenal in third. Winning at the Hawthorns would get them back on track after a 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool last Sunday.
The reverse fixture at St Mary’s this season saw the sides share the spoils in a goalless draw and it could be just as tight on Saturday.
West Brom are likely to be without striker Victor Anichebe who is suffering from a groin strain while Saido Berahino and James Morrison will face late fitness tests. Stephane Sessegnon could return to the starting lineup after sitting out the game at Sunderland.
Southampton will definitely be without forwards Jay Rodriguez and Emmanuel Mayuka but will welcome back left-back Ryan Bertrand who returns from suspension. Toby Alderweireld could return is he recovers from a hamstring injury but this game could come too soon for the Belgian. Steven Davis is a doubt after being forced off against Liverpool last week.
West Brom’s last five in the Premier League: D/L/D/W/D
Southampton’s last five in the Premier League: W/L/W/D/L
Key Stat: West Brom have failed to score against Southampton in their last three meetings (W0 D1 L2).
Key Player: Brown Ideye – The Nigerian striker has four goals and one assist in his last four games and seems to perform best in front of his own fans. He will be a real threat for Southampton in this one.
West Brom 1-1 Southampton – The Saints will struggle to break down this West Brom side but could earn a point with a hard-fought performance at the Hawthorns. Tony Pulis has his side playing well and another point will help them to keep moving clear of relegation.