A home game against just about anybody is welcome respite for West Brom after losing twice to Aston Villa in the space of a week away from the Hawthorns. The Baggies lost 2-1 last time out in the Premier League with Tim Sherwood proving to be their judge, jury and executioner. Tony Pulis’ side sit in 13th spot on a healthy 30 points which sees them eight points clear of the bottom three.
Things are even rosier for Stoke City as they sit in an excellent 8th place which makes them the “best of the rest” behind the Champions League chasing pack. Tony Pulis’ former employers are currently enjoying an impressive three game winning streak but the man himself will surely fancy ending that run with home advantage a big factor.
Victor Anichebe and Callum McManaman are the only West Brom injuries currently hampering Tony Pulis’ plans. Anichebe is suffering with a knee injury but could make it back for the game whilst Mcmanaman is suffering with an ankle knock which could see him miss out.
Centre back Ryan Shawcross should be back for this game after his back injury. Stephen Ireland should also be back soon after his calf strain. Marc Muniesa (hamstring) and Philipp Wollscheid (groin) should both miss out whilst Bojan Krkic and Peter Odemwingie are definitely out for the season with ACL injuries.
- Saido Berahino has scored in three of his last four Premier League appearances.
- Mame Biram Diouf has scored three goals in two appearances against West Brom.
- West Brom have failed to find the net in eight of their 11 Premier League meetings with Stoke.
- Stoke have lost just one of the 11 Premier League clashes with West Brom (W7, D3, L1).
- Stoke City have scored 97 goals away from home in the Premier League.
- West Brom have kept five clean sheets in the six home games since Tony Pulis took over at the Hawthorns.
Saido Berahino has enjoyed another excellent season. His breakthrough season in 13/14 was cause for optimism and he quickly became a firm fan favourite. This season has proved to be another step for the young English striker and he looks set for an England call-up after rediscovering his form under Tony Pulis.
So far this season has delivered 12 goals in 28 appearances which is excellent for the 21 year old. Berahino has also developed his dribbling skills with 53.5 of his attempted take-ons proving successful. The young striker is also strong in the tackle for his size and he wins 47.62% of his tackles – a decent percentage for a forward. In terms of passing, Berahino is accurate enough with a completion rate of 84%. He’s also created 21 chances for his teammates this term.
Victor Moses wasn’t exactly loved at his previous two clubs. Chelsea stockpiled him for his potential and Liverpool just couldn’t extract his talent. Nevertheless, using Bojan’s blueprint for rebuilding a career after failed stints at big clubs, Moses has enjoyed a revival at Stoke. The pacey winger has scored three times in 17 appearances and has been one of Mark Hughes’ better players. 81% passing accuracy also represents a decent accuracy from the Nigerian international. Moses is clearly feeling more confident with regular football and has attempted a whopping 116 take-ons with 52.6% of them proving successful. Moses just betters Berahino for chances created with a total of 32 – those 32 chances have yielded three assists for the 24 year old.
My prediction for this one is going to be a score draw. I think both teams are in decent form and both are capable of scoring goals. I’ll say 2-2 for this one.
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