PREVIEW: West Bromwich Albion vs Burnley – 31/03/18
West Bromwich Albion vs Burnley
Venue: The Hawthorns
Referee: Lee Probert
At the bottom of the table Alan Pardew’s almost certainly relegated Albion will host a buoyant Burnley team at the Hawthorns – a tie that could prove to provide a much needed lift for the astray Albion side, who remain 10 points away from safety.
The visitors who are currently sitting in seventh, with a club Premier League record of 42 points, will look to continue their brilliant away form. Dyche’s side have in fact managed to claim 21 of 43 points available this season in away matches.Embed from Getty Images
Burnley’s last league game saw them hammer a heartless West Ham side at the London Stadium, and will surely be the favourites to repeat this on Saturday afternoon. However previous results between the two teams suggest a different story. Burnley are winless in all five previous Premier League matches against West Brom drawing twice, and loosing on three occasions .
More so Burnley have played three league games in 2017-18 against sides starting the day bottom of the table and are yet to win, drawing once and losing twice. This hinders any idea of an easy win for the visiting side.
The hosts however are in a dire state. They have now built up a new unwanted club record of eight successive defeats in the Premier League – a record Pardew will want gone immediately. Last time out in the Premier League Pardew witnessed his side lose narrowly to a resilient Bournemouth side, who fought back after going behind from a Jay Rodriguez goal.
West Brom have not being playing badly at all and their performances have improved, individually and as a team, but the problem is they just can not manage to win. This game at the weekend will give them a huge boost mentally, if nothing else.
If there is any chance of a West Brom miracle this game surely has to be the ignition.
Midfield duo Sam Field and Gareth Barry will be sidelined with a calf and knee injury when they host Burnley.
They will join attackers Nacer Chadli and Daniel Sturridge on the sidelines, who have ongoing issues
Johann Berg Gudmundsson is expected to be fit after a minor knock and Stephen Ward is also available after a knee injury.
However Keeper Tom Heaton is a still out, but closing in on a return according to boss Sean Dyche after six months out with a dislocated shoulder.
What the managers say
Alan Pardew on relegation
“Our results so far suggest it will be difficult, if not impossible. But it is one game at a time and that’s as simplistic as I’m keeping it with the group
“The Bournemouth result was difficult to take and I think the international break was good for us as that feeling would have been difficult to get rid of in a week.”Embed from Getty Images
“The first target (Premier League survival) is complete. I’ve spoken about development and improvement, and we got to 40 against Everton, and then to go to 43 is very pleasing, with eight games to go.
“Now it’s open-mindedness – keep doing what we’re doing, keep being diligent and see where it can take us.”
Prediction: West Brom 1 Burnley 1
A tough game for both sides, West Brom are in dire need of points but I expect Burnley to run a tight ship at The Hawthorns. A draw extremely likely.
Written by Will Chattell.