WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) returns to the WLB stable with another West Brom preview. Can the Baggies close off the Premier League weekend with a win for the second game week running?
West Brom v Burnley | Monday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
Not the most glamorous affair to cap off the twelfth Premier League weekend of the season but we actually encounter both these teams in good forms. Burnley have 14 points after 11 games this year, double what they had at the same point in their last top flight season.
Lack of progress
In that 2014-15 season West Brom had 13 points after 11 games, exactly the same as they do now and last season was much of the same with 14 points through 11 and that’s been part of the problem for fans of the West Midlands club; a lack of progress.
All football fans have aspirations for their team so when they see their club stagnating they understandably become frustrated. Some will say that West Brom should be happy with Premier League survival under Pulis but if it’s at the cost of an enjoyable style of football and creates monotony from season to season it’s simply not worth it.
However, West Brom’s 2-1 win at the home of the champions was arguably their best performance under Tony Pulis. It was easier on the eye than we’ve come to expect from the Baggies under the ex-Stoke manager.
West Brom did only have 41% of possession at the King Power but with that they created 11 shots, double that of the Foxes. James Morrison and Matt Phillips provided exciting outlets and both scored. Goals from midfield have been an issue for the Albion in recent times with most coming from centre-halves and Salomon Rondon.
The Albion have conceded seven in their last three matches but these were games against Leicester, Manchester City and Liverpool. Prior to that stretch of games they had the fourth best defensive record in the league, only Saints, Spurs and Everton had conceded less through eight games.
In Burnley they face an opponent that is massively over-performing in the statistics. Burnley have the worst shot data in the league and have also faced more shots at their goal than anyone else. Tom Heaton has saved their blushes on numerous occasions this season, he’s made over 20 saves more than any other keeper in the league.
To judge the Clarets on their away form would be harsh considering they’ve faced Chelsea, Manchester United, Leicester and Southampton, but just one goal managed in those four matches is still less than desirable and in the game at Old Trafford they faced more shots on their goal than any team has in 23 years of Premier League football; despite even playing 20 of those minutes against 10 men.
Burnley have played one more game than anyone else at home so far (7) and in truth that’s the reason why we see them mid-table. 13 of their 14 points have come at Turf Moor. In 2014-15 they had the second worst away record and I think we should expect to see a similar final standing this season.
Defour and Chadli
Steven Defour will be key to their chances at the Hawthorns. The Belgian has been the leading light for them and certainly Sean Dyche’s best signing. With Morrison, Darren Fletcher and Claudio Yacob though he could be overrun and stifled in the centre of the field.
Nacer Chadli could feature for the hosts and that would be another boost to the Baggies. For me, Chadli is a signing on par with that of Defour. He adds a little bit of magic to this West Brom team, combine him with the youngster Jonathan Leko and Phillips and there’s a move in the right direction on the wings.
West Brom tend to win games by narrow score-lines but I’m not prepared to venture into the winning margin market here as I think this could be a bit more of a comfortable victory for the home side. The best bet for me is a straight-forward home win at 28/29 with MarathonBet.
West Brom v Burnley – West Brom to win (28/29 Marathon Bet)