West Bromwich Albion v Brighton & Hove Albion

West Bromwich Albion v Brighton & Hove Albion

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Pascal Gross scored Brighton’s first Premier League goal in the reverse fixture in September

TEAM NEWS

West Brom trio Jonny Evans, Kieran Gibbs and Matt Phillips are all available after overcoming respective foot, muscle and hamstring problems.

James Morrison and Nacer Chadli both remain on the sidelines.

Brighton’s on-loan midfielder Izzy Brown suffered a season-ending knee injury in Monday’s FA Cup win over Crystal Palace.

Steve Sidwell, who has not played this season because of a back problem, has injured his ankle in training.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Conor McNamara: “West Brom are already associated with a special moment in Brighton’s campaign; the newly-promoted side’s first win back in the top flight came against them.

“Chris Hughton’s side look comfy now in 12th place, but zoom in to the points column and Brighton are only three points above the relegation zone and very much in a battle to stay up.

“West Brom were the original ‘Great Escape’ club. They may need to summon the spirit of 2005 when – never mind being bottom at Christmas – they were bottom for much of the season’s final afternoon before miraculously surviving.

“It is 20 league games since the Baggies last won, and almost half of that run has been under Alan Pardew.”

Twitter: @ConorMcNamaraIE

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

West Brom head coach Alan Pardew: “I really like this group of players. I’m doing everything I can to put ideas and thoughts into their heads because I want them to do well.

“What Chris has done at Brighton is nothing short of amazing. They’ve had a good season and it won’t be easy to break them down.”

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton: “The most important results for us will be against the teams around us, and what we know is that top group of teams won’t affect us as much.

“(West Brom) is an opportunity, but every game is – each time you look ahead they’re big games.

“It’s difficult to talk about upcoming periods in isolation because very game is a big one and a challenge and we know we’ll have to be at a level to get a result.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

The Baggies have not won in the Premier League since 22 August, but they are still fighting and I think they will finally put that right this weekend.

Prediction: 1-0

Lawro’s predictions v NBA stars Dario Saric & Aron Baynes

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • West Brom have never lost at home to Brighton in nine previous matches, winning five of those games.
  • However, Brighton have won three of their last four meetings.
  • Each of the last three encounters have been won 3-1 by the home side.

West Bromwich Albion

  • West Brom are enduring a club record winless run of 20 league matches, losing 10 of them.
  • The Baggies have won only two of their last 31 Premier League fixtures, whilst Alan Pardew has won just one of his last 19 top-flight games as a manager.
  • Albion have scored just five league goals in eight league games under Pardew.
  • The Baggies have drawn a league-high 10 matches in 2017-18; Brighton have the joint-second highest tally of eight.
  • If selected, Gareth McAuley will become just the fourth West Brom player to appear in 200 Premier League games and only the eighth Northern Irishman to do so.
  • Pardew is unbeaten in all four Premier League games as a manager against Chris Hughton, winning twice.

Brighton & Hove Albion

  • Brighton have won just one of their last 11 league fixtures (D5, L5).
  • They have failed to score in a league-high eight away matches, and are without a goal in each of their last five on the road since Glenn Murray’s winner at Swansea in November.
  • The Seagulls have scored five away goals, the fewest in the division, yet they boast the sixth best away defensive record.
  • Brighton could complete their first top-flight league double since beating Wolves home and away in 1981-82.
  • The next goal scored by Brighton will be their 200th in the top flight.
SAM’s verdict
Most probable score: 1-0 Probability of draw: 26%
Probability of home win: 51% Probability of away win: 23%

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Liverpool that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football http://ift.tt/NkmIPT

January 13, 2018 at 08:51AM

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