Opposition View: West Bromwich Albion

Burnley play hosts to West Brom on Saturday, in a game which will have a huge say in deciding who claims the last remaining top half spots.

The Baggies have been struggling to get results of late, but they still have a firm hold of eighth position, where they have been for most of the season.

In Tony Pulis, they have one of the Premier League’s most experienced managers, and when it comes to getting 40 points, Pulis is the ‘go to man’.

Here, I will take a more in depth look at West Brom and we also caught up with a Baggies fan to get his views ahead of Saturday’s game!

West Bromwich Albion

Manager – Tony Pulis

Captain – Darren Fletcher

Top Scorer(s) 16/17 – Gareth McAuley and Salomon Rondon (7 goals)

League Position – 8th

Points – 44

Recent Form – Last Six:

West Bromwich Albion 3-1 Arsenal
Sat 18 Mar

Manchester United 0-0 West Bromwich Albion
Sat 1 Apr

Watford 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
Tue 4 Apr

West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Southampton
Sat 8 Apr

West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Liverpool
Sun 16 Apr

West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Leicester City
Sat 29 Apr

Recent Results vs Burnley – Last Six:

West Brom 4-0 Burnley – 21st Nov 2016 (Premier League)

Burnley 2-2 West Brom – 8th Feb 2015 (Premier League)

West Brom 4-0 Burnley – 28th Sept 2014 (Premier League)

Burnley 3-1 West Brom – 3rd Feb 2009 (FA Cup Replay)

West Brom 2-2 Burnley – 24th Jan 2009 (FA Cup)

West Brom 2-1 Burnley – 2nd Feb 2008 (Championship)

Danger Men:

Salomon Rondon – The 6’1″ Venezuelan has made a big impression on the Premier League since his arrival in 2015. He has spearheaded the Baggies attack for the past two seasons, scoring 16 goals in the process. Rondon is sure to pose a huge threat to the Clarets back line. His imposing figure gives West Brom an outlet ball, and he is no slouch for a big man either. If Burnley can keep him quiet, then you would back them to go on and win the game.

Gareth McAuley – The Republic of Ireland international has been the lynchpin at the heart of the West Brom defence since 2011. However, McAuley is more than a defender, he is a goal scoring threat too. The centre-back has seven goals to his name this season, an impressive return for a defender. Tony Pulis is widely known as a manager who will heavily focus on set-pieces, and McAuley has been the beneficiary of this. Burnley will have to be on their guard to prevent McAuley any chances from corners on Saturday.

West Brom Fans’ View – @AllAlbion – Be sure to check out their Twitter page for the latest news on West Brom!

West Brom are safe on 44 points, and have been for the past few weeks, so what is the goal for the rest of the season?

Our goal is 50 points, we’ve never hit that total in the Premier League. We’ve been a mid-table PL club for a while now and sitting around the 40 point mark each season can begin to feel like you’re going nowhere. Hitting 50 would be a sign of improvement.

With West Brom failing to score in seven of their last eight games, do you envisage Tony Pulis doing anything to try and freshen thing up on Saturday?

I doubt it. In Pulis we have one of the most stubborn managers in the league. A thin squad and Tony’s reluctance to play the youngsters leaves very little wiggle room.

It was way back in February when the Baggies hit the 40 point mark and since then, form has dipped. Is that a case of ‘taking your foot off the gas’?

That is the general feeling amongst fans, yes. A case could be made for aging players feeling the effects of a hard season but Pulis’ record of his teams easing off at the Premier League 40 point mark is a concern.

What should Burnley fans expect of West Brom on Saturday?

I would like to tell you to expect a well drilled defence and to be wary of our counter attacks and set pieces, this was our effective style for most of the season. However, recent weeks suggest that you should expect defensive errors and very little goal threat. One thing you can expect for sure, possession.

Finally, how do you see the game panning out and what is your score prediction?

I’m so desperate to end this slump, I would be thrilled with a typically Pulis performance. Soak up your pressure and walk away with a scrappy 1-0 win. But my head knows that you guys are very good at home and with our terrible form I think you will win comfortably, 2 or 3-0.

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