For the first time this season, West Bromwich Albion have put together a run of two successive Premier League victories. Given that they are deep in the English top flight’s relegation zone, that’s probably not much of shock to the system. However, with just seven games remaining, West Brom’s manager Sam Allardyce would probably argue that there is no better time than the present for the Baggies to finally discover some form.
West Brom stunned Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back at the beginning of April, thrashing Thomas Tuchel’s side in west London. Christian Pulisic had given the hosts the lead. However, with Thiago Silva dismissed inside the first half hour, the tide quickly turned in West Brom’s favour and the floodgates opened as they ran out 5-2 winners.
The wind was clearly still in the Baggies’ sails when they hosted Southampton at the Hawthorns on Monday Night Football. An early goal ruled out by VAR didn’t dishearten West Brom as Matheus Pereira and Matt Phillips gave them a two-goal cushion in the first half before Callum Robinson added to his double against Chelsea by netting the host’s third goal of the night against the Saints.
With eight points still separating West Brom from Newcastle United, who have found a bit of form themselves in their last couple of matches, it’s no surprise really that the Baggies are still fairly favoured in the Premier League odds for relegation. However, it is a crucial six points and if they can keep this form up across the remaining seven games, then you never know what will happen come the end of the season.
With a trip to out-of-sorts Leicester City up next for West Brom, there must be a strong feeling within their ranks that they can take advantage of Brendan Rodgers’ side and make it three wins from three, or at least come away from the King Power Stadium with a solitary point in the bag, as it could make a big difference come the end of the season.
From there, they face Aston Villa, who have also been somewhat of a mixed bag lately, at home, Arsenal (A), Liverpool (H), West Ham United (H) and Leeds United (A). Big names like Arsenal and Liverpool, as well as West Ham, who have surprisingly become a lot more favourable in the Premier League betting tips this season, are not the kind of teams you want to face when fighting to stay up.
However, West Brom’s record against the big sides this season hasn’t actually been as bad as you’d imagine. As already mentioned, they beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this month. However, they have also drawn with the Blues back in September before picking up points from further draws with Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City.
That is evidence of just how dogged and hard to break down they can be against the big teams, and with a lot left to fight for between now and the end of May, they could be an even tougher team to face as they have to scrap for every last point if they want to stay up.
The good news is that Newcastle’s remaining fixtures are arguably harder. Steve Bruce’s side face West Ham (H), Liverpool (A), Arsenal (H), Leicester (A) and Man City (H) in their next five games before facing Sheffield United (H) and Fulham (A) in their final two matches.
Eight points is a big gap to make up with just seven games left, and West Brom will basically need Newcastle to lose all of their next five games if they want to get within touching distance of safety. Will they stay up? It’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened!