Three ways to back your team – West Brom
We expect The Baggies to stutter
West Brom finished dead-centre last season, 10th with a record reading 12 wins – nine draws – 17 defeats. A decent achievement for The Baggies, and fans would probably accept the same again this term.
Top of Tony Pulis’ to-do list must be tightening up a defence that leaked 51 goals, finishing the season with -8 in the goal difference tally. He hopes to achieve just that by bringing in Egyptian Ahmed Hegazi. Here’s three ways to back West Brom this season.
Traders think bottom-half finish
The Baggies have been busy this summer, bringing in a host of new faces in an attempt to improve. Jay Rodriguez signed from Southampton for £12m, the England striker will be hoping for a fresh start, and to put his injury worries behind him. Fellow scorer Zhang Yuning jetted in from Vitesse Arnhem, the Chinese striker cementing a three-year deal. Fans won’t see too much of him however, as the youngster was immediately sent on loan to Werder Bremen. Hegazi is expected to have more of an impact, the centre-back on a year-long loan from Al Ahly. Another eager to get over injury. A top-10 finish in the Premier League looks to be West Brom’s best hope, an outcome priced at 12/5 by Coral. Those signings not grab your attention? A bottom-half finish is a lot more likely at 3/10.
Doom and gloom at Hawthorns?
Despite their midtable finish last season, West Brom ended just 11 points above Hull in the relegation zone. Middlesbrough, who finished second bottom, and will be playing Championship football in the coming months, lost 20 matches, West Brom lost 17. The Baggies endured a poor end to the season, and if that continues into this year, they could be in a lot of trouble. With Pulis seemingly gambling in the transfer market, can we rule them out of the relegation race? I wouldn’t say so. There are a few more obvious picks for the drop, but if you predict doom and gloom at The Hawthorns, West Brom to be relegated come the final count is 11/2. In their defence, they do have a decent set of fixtures in August – Bournemouth, Burnley and Stoke.
West Brom boast a proud FA Cup history
West Brom boast an impressive record in knockout football, especially the FA Cup. They have lifted the nation’s favourite cup competition five times throughout their history, first in 1888, last banking a winners’ medal in 1968. So, a bit of a drought then. They have reached the final 10 times however, more than the likes of Spurs and West Ham. Will history repeat itself in 2018? One for diehard fans only, we imagine, but if you enjoy a punt on an outsider, West Brom to win the FA Cup this season appeals at 50/1. Each-way players will get ½ the odds a place 1-2. Reach the final and you’ll be quids in, whatever the result.