West Brom host Southampton as they look to kick on from their impressive victory over Chelsea at the weekend, but Jake Pearson thinks they may have a tougher time of things against the Saints.
1pt Southampton to win at 5/4 (bet365)
West Brom’s 5-2 victory over Chelsea on Saturday gave the Baggies renewed hope in their bid for survival, but was it the beginning of another Sam Allardyce great escape, or just a false dawn?
Admittedly, West Brom did look good against the Blues, sharper to every ball and playing with a definite hunger, but Chelsea were very much architects of their own downfall in the game, giving the ball away in sloppy areas, which ultimately resulted in Thiago Silva being sent off after 29 minutes.
Take nothing away from West Brom, they kicked on and really made the man advantage count, but a lot of what happened did seem to occur through coincidence, rather than planning.
For example, Callum Robinson, who came on and netted twice, incidentally taking his tally against Chelsea to five, was only on the pitch after substitute Branislav Ivanovic sustained an injury just 13 minutes after coming on himself.
In short, everything seemed to go the way of West Brom last weekend, but that may not be the case against a Southampton side who showed mighty resilience to come from two goals behind against Burnley last week.
After a run of one win in 11 matches, Southampton looked to have found their feet again as they progressed to the semi-finals of the FA Cup courtesy of an accomplished 3-0 victory over Bournemouth prior to the international break.
The stoppage in domestic football looked to have come just at the wrong time for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, particularly as he found his team 2-0 down within 29 minutes on their return to action against Burnley last week.
An impressive performance from Danny Ings, however – one goal and one assist – helped Southampton turn the game on its head, the Saints eventually winning 3-2.
Given the state of play in the league – Southampton are 10 points clear of the relegation zone and 13 points adrift of the European places – it wouldn’t be remiss to think that the Saints would take a 2-0 defeat against Burnley and move on, plan for next season. But the way they fought back shows that these players still feel they have something to prove; to the manager, to the fans, to themselves, and that could spell danger for West Brom.
Sam Allardyce has undoubtedly improved West Brom’s home form, but they have still won just twice on home soil all season, while Southampton have scored two or more goals in each of their last three away matches in all competitions.
Besides their home fixture against Newcastle last month, this is the shortest price West Brom have been at the Hawthorns since early December, including against Fulham and Brighton, who are both below Southampton in the table.
All this factored in then, a price of 5/4 for a SOUTHAMPTON WIN looks appealing, particularly when considering seven of the last nine teams to make the trip to the Hawthorns have been odds on.
Score prediction: West Brom 0-2 Southampton (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
Odds correct at 1415 BST (08/04/21)
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