West Brom v Southampton preview: Manolo Gabbiadini among doubts
Last Updated: 08/04/17 3:02pm
Southampton could be without several key players for their Premier League trip to West Brom on Saturday.
Midfielder Steven Davis suffered an ankle injury in the 3-1 midweek win against Crystal Palace and is a doubt along with striker Manolo Gabbiadini, midfielder Sofiane Boufal and defender Ryan Bertrand.
Saints are also without Oriol Romeu due to a two-game suspension for earning 10 yellow cards.
"It's difficult to prepare for this game, but the result against Palace can give us good confidence," said Saints manager Claude Puel.
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The win over Palace moved Saints up to ninth in the table, seven points behind eighth-placed West Brom but with two games in hand.
Following a 2-0 defeat at Watford in midweek, the Baggies have won only one of their last five Premier League matches.
"The team deserves a lot of credit for what they've done this year," said manager Tony Pulis. "We are pushing them for more though still. On our day we can give anyone a game. If we aren't on our game then we fall a little short. That's the level that we are at."
West Brom could have a fully-fit squad to choose from.
Matt Phillips is in contention to start after making his return from injury as a substitute against Watford.
While several Saints players face late fitness tests, the visitors are definitely without defenders Matt Targett and Virgil van Dijk, goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and striker Charlie Austin.
West Brom have failed to score in five of their last seven Premier League games against Southampton.
Saints have only once before lost both Premier League games against the Baggies in the same season (2012/13).
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Saints have only scored once in the Premier League at the Hawthorns - a 90th minute penalty converted by Rickie Lambert in August 2013 to win 1-0.
West Brom have won 29 points from their 15 home games this season; their joint-best return at this stage of a Premier League season alongside 2012/13.
Indeed, the Baggies have won eight and lost two of their last 10 Premier League matches at The Hawthorns.
Tony Pulis' side have scored 27 goals at home this campaign; only in 2012/13 (32) and 2010/11 (30) have West Brom netted more at The Hawthorns in a Premier League season.
The Baggies' next home defeat will be their 600th in league football. Only one side has lost 600+ home games within the top four tiers of English league football since 1888 and that is Notts County (633).
Paul Merson's prediction
Southampton are another strange side. I thought Bournemouth should have beaten them, then they went and beat Palace in midweek.
West Brom had a bad result at Watford and they've been up and down lately. But they've had a good season and they won't want it to fizzle out. I think they'll get back on track here.
Paul predicts: 2-0 (12/1 with Sky Bet)
Both sides are well odds-on for top-half finishes, with the Saints 6/4 to end up above their hosts. Shane Long heads a wide open first goalscorer market at 5/1, with Salomon Rondon still considered the Baggies' main threat at 11/2 to net first despite his goal drought.
West Brom v Southampton is included in this weekend's Super 6 line-up, with £250,000 up for grabs for simply predicting the six correct scores. Enter your selections here.