Sunday, January 29, 2023

Prediction: Bournemouth vs West Brom

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Unibet

With the 2021/22 Championship campaign opening up on Friday night, Bournemouth will welcome West Brom to what should be a lively Vitality.


Starting with the hosts, crashing out of the play-offs at the semi-finals against eventual winners Brentford back in May, Bournemouth start a new adventure on the South Coast. Throwing away their first-leg lead in the capital and missing what many felt was a golden chance to book an immediate Premier League return, The Cherries find themselves now under the guidance of new boss Scott Parker. Enduring what was a worrying end to the 2020/21 campaign and losing each of their final three regular-season matchups, the former Fulham coach will be calling for his side to find some stability this year. Looking to open up their campaign with a real statement on home soil, Bournemouth did manage to get some perfect momentum last weekend. With attacking talisman Dominic Solanke bagging three goals in his last four outings, Parker’s new squad landed a thumping 5-0 romp against League One outfit MK Dons.

Team News

Carrying on their suspensions from last season, Bournemouth will be without the duo of Chris Mepham and Jefferson Lerma on Friday night.

Likewise, Scott Parker’s new squad look set to be without Steve Cook and Jack Stacey through injury.

West Brom

As for the visitors, losing their Premier League status at the first attempt last season, West Brom find themselves in a very similar position to Friday’s opponents. Both tipped as real contenders in this year’s promotion chase, The Baggies open the 2021/22 campaign under the guidance of new boss Valérien Ismaël. With the one-time Crystal Palace defender guiding Barnsley to what was a shock play-off spot, the Midlands outfit have continued to impress during their pre-season run this summer. Putting in a performance that would have filled them with some real confidence, they managed to land a thumping 4-0 win against local rivals and fellow Championship side Birmingham at St. Andrew’s. In fact, along with playing out a 0-0 draw against Premier League returners Watford, Friday’s guests are unbeaten in all four of their pre-season contests, keeping a clean sheet in each of those outings.

Team News

On the verge of completing a big-money move to Saudi Arabia, last year’s star Matheus Pereira will not feature on Friday night.

However, despite a string of speculation surrounding his own move away, Sam Johnstone should start in goal.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Bournemouth signed off their pre-season preparations with a 5-0 win against MK Dons.
    • Likewise, West Brom signed off their own friendly run with a 4-0 victory away at local rivals Birmingham.
    • However, including back-to-back defeats on the South Coast, The Baggies have failed to win any of their last four matchups away at the Vitality.
    • West Brom managed to record a clean sheet in each of their final four pre-season outings.
    • Four of the last six meetings between Friday’s opponents have finished with under 2.5 goals.


    While we might open this year’s Championship campaign with a showdown between two pre-season contenders, we could have a low-scoring affair on our hands at the Vitality. Looking to go one step further after crashing out at the play-offs in the semi-finals over the summer, Scott Parker’s side managed to get some perfect momentum last weekend. However, really enjoying their own bounce under their own new boss during the pre-season preparations, West Brom have also shown some eye-catching displays at the back. Recording a clean sheet in each of their final friendly contests, it should also be noted that four of the last six meetings between Friday’s opponents have finished with under 2.5 goals.

    Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

    Best Odds: 4/5

    Bookmaker: Unibet


    Tom Dunstan

    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan



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