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Match Previews

PREVIEW: WEST BROMWICH ALBION V ALBION

11 January 2018

Kieran Cleeves

Brighton & Hove Albion return to Premier League action on Saturday afternoon, as they come up against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, kick-off 3pm.

The Seagulls are unbeaten in three games after drawing twice in the league and beating Crystal Palace in the Emirates FA Cup on Monday evening.

The last three meetings between the teams have all been won 3-1 by the home side, with the last game at the Hawthorns coming back in 1993.

Chris Hughton’s team head into the match sitting 12th in the Premier League table, while the Baggies occupy 19th position, seven points behind the Seagulls.


TEAM NEWS:

Izzy Brown has returned to Chelsea after tearing his anterior cruciate knee ligament against Crystal Palace on Monday evening.

Hughton revealed Steve Sidwell has also picked up an ankle injury, to add to his back concern after having surgery at the beginning of the season.

Otherwise, the Albion boss has a fully-fit squad to choose from ahead of Saturday's trip to the Hawthorns.

For the Baggies, Matt Phillips (hamstring) and Craig Dawson (fatigue) are both doubts for the game, after missing the club's FA Cup game against Exeter City last weekend

Midfielders Nacer Chadli (hip) and James Morrison (Achilles) are unlikely to feature for the West Midlands club, as they continue their recoveries from injury.

REVERSE FIXTURE:

Albion claimed their first-ever Premier League goal and victory against the Baggies when they visited the Amex in September.

Pascal Gross found the bottom corner on the stroke of half-time to send Albion's supporters into raptures, before the German added another three minutes into the second half to make it 2-0.

Tomer Hemed then scored his first Premier League goal shortly after the hour mark, and despite James Morrison pulling a goal back for West Brom, the Seagulls secured all three points on the south coast.


FORM:

ALBION: The Seagulls have lost just once in their previous six games - 2-0 to Chelsea on Boxing Day - and head to the Hawthorns boosted by their late victory against Crystal Palace at the Amex.

In the Premier League, Hughton’s men have drawn back-to-back league games, as they shared a 2-2 draw with AFC Bournemouth on New Year’s Day, following a goalless encounter against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

Albion ended a seven-game run without a victory against Watford, with Pascal Gross scoring the all-important goal to add three points to their 0-0 draw against Burnley that came beforehand.


WEST BROMWICH ALBION: Alan Pardew’s team are without a Premier League victory in 20 matches, but thanks to goals from Salomon Rondon and James Rodriguez, they avoided a cup upset against Exeter City last time out.

A stoppage-time goal denied the Baggies a point against West Ham United at the London Stadium, but the West Midlands club held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns on New Year’s Eve.

Points were also collected from goalless draws against Liverpool and Everton in December, but Stoke City, Manchester United and Swansea City all claimed three points against Pardew's men.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

ALBION 2
Stephens 25
Murray 87

CRYSTAL PALACE 1
Sako 69

Albion line-up: Krul; Schelotto, Goldson, Huenemeier, Bong; March, Stephens (Propper 61), Kayal, Izquierdo; Brown(Baldock 6); Hemed (Murray 81).

Subs not used: Maenpaa (GK), Dunk, Rosenior, Skalak.


LAST TIME OUT: WEST BROMWICH ALBION



EXETER CITY 0

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 2
Rondon 2
Rodriguez 25

West Bromwich Albion line-up: Foster; Nyom, McAuley, Hegazi, Gibbs (Robson-Kanu 12); Brunt, Krychowiak (Livermore 84), Barry, McClean; Rodriguez (Field 69), Rondon.

Subs not used: Myhill (GK), Yacob, Leko, Burke.



PLAYER TO WATCH: Jay Rodriguez

The forward has played in 21 of the club’s 22 Premier League games so far this season, following his summer switch from Southampton for £12 million.

Rodriguez scored his first goal of the season in West Brom’s 1-1 draw against Stoke at the Hawthorns, before hitting the back of the net when Manchester City visited towards the end of October.

The forward converted from the penalty spot in the closing stages of Arsenal’s visit to the Hawthorns, showing his nerve from 12 yards to snatch a point for the Baggies.


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