So, the curtain is closing. Another Premier League season is coming to an end and next season we’ll be looking to build on clinching Champions League football again this year.
Before the Cup Final and mountains of transfer speculation ahead of us, let’s hope the players give 60,000 fans a good send off at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Here’s everything you need to know about this West Brom, our final Premier League opponents of the season:
|Home Ground||The Hawthorns|
|Record Signing||Brown Ideye (£10M in 2014)|
|Top Scorer||Saido Berahino (14)|
|Most Assists||Chris Brunt (9)|
|Most Yellow Cards||Craig Gardner (10)|
|Star Player||Saido Berahino|
|Biggest Liability||Stéphane Sessegnon|
Style of play
Tony Pulis took over at West Brom back in January after Alan Irvine was sacked, and I’m not sure what more there is to say. They play like a side managed by Tony Pulis.
Away from home Pulis uses one striker, even against hapless and out of form sides like Newcastle. West Brom’s approach on Saturday is likely to be very much like the one they adopted at Old Trafford at the start of the month which saw them defeat Louis van Gaal’s side 1-0.
West Brom mustered just five shots that day and scored their winner via a deflected free-kick. The game consisted of very few clear-cut opportunities with Pulis’ men blocking all central paths to goal before dealing with balls in from out wide.
Manchester United had a huge 80.9% of the ball and the only threat the Baggies posed was on the break or with set-pieces. Completing just 54.1% of their passes – considerably lower than their season average of 74.9% – we can expect West Brom to sit deep and play the ball long as they search for another scalp.
Chris Brunt’s delivery will pose a threat if used and a close eye will have to be kept on pacey forward Saido Berahino.
Myhill; Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Lescott; McManaman, Fletcher, Yacob, Morrison, Brunt; Berahino.
Season so far
After an inconsistent start under Alan Irvine West brom managed to string a few results together to sit comfortably in midtable by the time the table began to take shape. Impressive home wins over Spurs and Burnley were backed up by draws against Southampton and Manchester United and the first week of November had Irvine’s team in 10th after the first 10 games of the season.
And then they hit a rut.
Seven losses and just one win from the next nine saw Irvine dismissed with the Baggies lingering just above the relegation zone. Tony Pulis was named as his successor on New Year’s Day.
A more decisive approach to the game with intense focus on organisation, Pulis reinforced this West Brom side. Brown Ideye could suddenly shoot straight and Saido Berahino re-found some of the form that had earned him an England call-up earlier on in the campaign.
The first eight games under Pulis brought five clean sheets and 12 points as he steered this new club closer to safety.
A miniature blip saw three consecutive defeats, but the ship has been steadied once again and the month of May has already seen West Brom enjoy wins over both Manchester United and Chelsea.
Next up Pulis will want achieve something he never managed with Stoke: avoid defeat away from home against Arsène Wenger.
Arsenal’s last 5 results against West Brom: WWDDW
|League||29/11/2014||(A)||W 1-0||Arsenal: Welbeck (60)
West Brom: –
|League||4/5/2014||(H)||W 1-0||Arsenal: Giroud (14)
West Brom: –
|League||6/10/2013||(A)||D 1-1||Arsenal: Wilshere (63)
West Brom: Yacob (42)
|League Cup||25/9/2013||(A)||D 1-1
(W 4-3 on penalties)
|Arsenal: Eisfeld (61)
West Brom: Berahino (71)
|League||6/4/2013||(A)||W 2-1||Arsenal: Rosicky (20, 50)
West Brom: Morrison (71)
Record for Arsenal v West Brom:
Overall record between the two clubs
Head to Head
West Brom’s last 5 results: WDWDW
|League||Chelsea||(H)||W 3-0||Berahino (2), Brunt|
|League||Newcastle United||(A)||D 1-1||Anichebe|
|League||Manchester United||(A)||W 1-0||Olsson|
|League||Crystal Palace||(A)||W 2-0||Morrison, Gardner|