Monday, December 10, 2018

Prediction: West Brom vs Brighton

Verdict: Draw

Best Odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

Sat four points adrift of Premier League safety, West Brom still remain without a win in the Premier League since the middle of August. Coming off the back of their FA Cup third-round win last weekend, the Baggies will be hosting a Brighton side who have had a respectable start to their inaugural season among England’s elite.

West Brom

Last weekend, new Baggies boss Alan Pardew was able to register his first win as West Brom manager. Picking up a 2-0 win away at League Two Exeter city in the third-round of the FA Cup, Pardew will be hoping their performance in the Cup will inspire some progression in the Premier League. For the Baggies, their victory last Saturday was their first win in any competition since they beat Accrington Stanley in the League Cup back in August. Currently sat 19th in the table, West Brom’s tally of 16 points has them level with Swansea and only their goal difference keeping them from sitting rock-bottom. Without a Premier League win since August, West Brom have only managed to collect 10 points out of a possible 60. With their start to this season the worst in the clubs history, Pardew will be desperate to bring in some much-needed quality during the January transfer window. Only managing to score five goals in their eight matches under their new boss, no West Brom player has more than three goals this season.

Team News

Alan Pardew will hope to have centre-backs Jonny Evans (foot) and Craig Dawson (fatigue) available to face Brighton, although there are doubts over left-back Kieran Gibbs (muscle strain) and midfielder Matt Phillips (hamstring).

However, the Baggies will definitely be without midfield duo Nacer Chadli (thigh) and James Morrison (achilles).

Brighton

For last seasons Championship runners-up, Brighton have enjoyed a receptacle start to their first season in the Premier League. Taking their resilient form into the FA Cup last Monday, the Seagulls managed to knockout Crystal Palace courtesy of a late Glenn Murray goal. However, much like their Midlands opponents on Saturday afternoon, Brighton are a team managing to avoid being dragged into a relegation dogfight thanks to picking up single points. The Seagulls 1-0 win at home to Watford at the end of December was Brighton’s only victory in their last 11 top-flight appearances. Drawing five and losing five, Hughton’s side currently sit 12th in the table, the Seagulls will also know that they are only three points adrift of the relegation zone. For the Premier League debutants, their major issues have been epitomised by their form away from the Amex Stadium. They have failed to score in a league-high eight away matches, and are without a goal in each of their last five on the road since Glenn Murray’s winner at Swansea in November.

Team News

Izzy Brown will be absent for Brighton’s trip to Premier League strugglers West Brom after he was ruled out for the rest of the season. On-loan Chelsea forward Brown sustained cruciate knee ligament damage in the early stages of Monday’s FA Cup win over Crystal Palace, cutting short his stay with the Seagulls.

Midfielder Steve Sidwell, who has not featured so far this season because of a back problem, has suffered a further setback by picking up an ankle complaint in training and remains the Seagulls only other injury issue.

Key Factors to Consider

  • West Brom have never lost at home to Brighton in nine previous matches, winning five of those games.
  • The Baggies West Brom are enduring a club record winless run of 20 league matches, losing 10 of them.
  • Brighton have won just one of their last 11 league fixtures (D5, L5).
  • The Seagulls have scored five away goals, the fewest in the division, yet they boast the sixth best away defensive record.
  • Albion have scored just five league goals in eight league games under Pardew.

Conclusion

Although West Brom may remain without a Premier League win since the middle of August, the Baggies have managed to stay afloat by consistently picking up a point. With 10 out of their last 20 matches ending in a stalemate, Alan Pardew will feel confident about taking something away from the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon. With Brighton failing to register a single win in their last five matches away from the Amex Stadium, the Seagulls have also failed to find the net in any of those five away matches. Backing both teams to leave the Midlands with a point seems like the most logical bet here.

Verdict: Draw

Best Odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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