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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ALBION V WEST BROMWICH ALBION

7 September 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Bruno takes hold of possession during a training session.

Brighton & Hove Albion return to Premier League action with the visit of West Bromwich Albion to the Amex on Saturday afternoon, kick-off 3pm.

The Seagulls opened their account with a 0-0 draw against Watford before the international break, and Chris Hughton’s men will be looking to build on their positive performance against the Baggies.

Davy Propper and Shane Duffy were both on the scoresheet for their respective nations last weekend, with the Dutchman getting a brace against Bulgaria, after Duffy headed his first senior goal for the Republic or Ireland.

New signings Ezequiel Schelotto, Tim Krul and Jose Izquierdo could all make their home debuts for the Seagulls, following the close of the summer transfer window.

After missing Albion’s draw against Watford, Glenn Murray trained with his team-mates on Thursday morning and Hughton hopes to have the striker available for Saturday’s game.

Tomer Hemed has been assessed since retuning from international duty with Israel, and Hughton also expects the striker to be fine for West Brom’s visit.

Izzy Brown has returned from Chelsea and should restart training with his team-mates next week, likewise Gaetan Bong, but Steve Sidwell (back), Sam Baldock (calf) and Beram Kayal (fibula) will miss out.

West Brom striker Hal Robson-Kanu will be unavailable for this weekend’s clash, following his straight red card after scoring the winning goal against Burnley at Turf Moor.

Defender Gareth McAuley (thigh) remains a doubt for the Baggies, while Oliver Burke could make his first start after coming off the bench against Bournemouth last time out.

Kieran Gibbs and Grzegorz Krychowiak could also make their debuts after signing from Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain respectively.


FORM:

ALBION: The Seagulls secured their first Premier League point in a goalless draw at Vicarage Road, as Hughton’s team enjoyed the majority of possession against the Hornets, who were reduced to ten men.

Albion hit the post through Anthony Knockaert and Hemed either side of Miguel Britos being given his marching orders for a dangerous tackle on the Frenchman, but neither side could find a breakthrough.

The season got underway with back-to-back 2-0 defeats to Manchester City and Leicester City, with Albion holding Pep Guardiola’s team for 70 minutes before Sergio Aguero found the breakthrough.

A first victory of the season came in the Carabao Cup second round, when James Tilley came off the bench to score his first senior goal to secure a 1-0 win over Barnet at the Amex.

WEST BROM: The Baggies have made an unbeaten start to the season and currently occupy fifth spot in the Premier League, after two wins and a draw from their opening three fixtures.

Summer signing Ahmed Hegazi scored the winning goal on the first day of the season, as Tony Pulis and his team overcame Bournemouth at the Hawthorns.

Hal Robson-Kanu then notched the winner against Burnley at Turf Moor, before West Brom reached the third round of the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 victory at Accrington Stanley.

The West Midlands club returned to Premier League action with the visit of Stoke City, but after Jay Rodriquez had given the Baggies a 1-0 lead, Peter Crouch levelled to earn a share of the spoils.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION


WATFORD 0


ALBION 0


Albion line-up:
Ryan; Bruno (Rosenior 46), Duffy, Dunk, Suttner; Knockaert (Izquierdo 81), Propper, Stephens, March; Gross (Murphy 90+1); Hemed.

Subs not used: Maenpaa, Huenemeier, Sidwell, Skalak.


LAST TIME OUT: WEST BROM




WEST BROM 1
Rodriguez
 61

STOKE 1

Crouch 77

West Brom line-up: Foster; Nyom, Dawson, Hegazi, Brunt; Phillips (McClean 74), Livermore, Barry, Morrison (Yacob 70); Rodriguez (Burke 88), Rondon.

Subs not used: Myhill (GK), Wilson, Field, Chadli.



PLAYER TO WATCH: Gareth Barry

The central midfielder started his career with the Seagulls as a trainee in 1995, before moving to Aston Villa two years later, where he would go on to make just short of 400 senior appearances.

Barry departed Villa Park after 12 seasons in 2009, joining Manchester City for £12 million, and the Englishman went on to win the FA Cup in 2011 before winning the Premier League the following season.

Only Ryan Giggs has made more Premier League appearances than Barry, who currently sits on 630, however the West Brom player will move to within one of the Welshman if he features this weekend.

Barry has found the back of the net 52 times in the Premier League, and has also collected 53 caps for England since making his debut in 2000.

The 36-year-old predominantly plays as a defensive midfielder, linking up the play and showing his reliability to work hard both on and off the ball.


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