Having now lost their last six league games, West Brom are on an abysmal run of form which has left them on the brink of relegation to the Championship after eight years in the top-flight.
The nature of their latest reversal, a 4-1 home defeat to Leicester City, is a hugely damaging blow for confidence and morale among the fans and players. The result leaves Alan Pardew’s side eight points off safety ahead of Stoke versus Manchester City on Monday evening.
If the Baggies are to mount any hopes of survival against the odds, then their next three games away to Bournemouth followed by home games against Burnley and Swansea are crucial.
Fail to take at least six points from these pivotal fixtures, and it is surely curtains for the Midlands club. This is given the fact that West Brom have to play Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United in their final five games, a testing run-in.
With games against Crystal Palace and Newcastle also to come during the final five games, there are opportunities to collect points, but both teams will also be fighting hard for survival.
Having only won three games all season, the last being a 2-0 home win over Brighton in mid-January, the Baggies have certainly left themselves in the quagmire, and it is a steep uphill task for them to pull off a great escape.
Inspiration may be taken from the club’s heroics during the 2004-05 season in which West Brom stayed up on the final day of the season after beating Portsmouth 2-0 at The Hawthorns. In doing so, the Baggies became the first side to survive in the Premier League having been bottom at Christmas.
Therefore, it is in the DNA of the club to keep on fighting until the last ball is kicked. Whether they can achieve something equally spectacular this season is questionable though given their form of eight games without a win.
Goal scoring has been a major area of concern for Pardew’s side. Having opened the scoring against Leicester, Salomon Rondon took his league tally up to five goals. No player has more, which is simply not enough. Centre-backs Craig Dawson and Jonny Evans are joint-third in the club’s scoring charts this season, a huge indicator of how poor the club has been in front of goal.
Six clubs have conceded an equal amount of goals or more than West Brom so it is in an attacking sense that fingers really have to be pointed. 23 goals as a team must be urgently improved on or it will be Championship football at the Hawthorns next season.