For the first time this season, Albion have the opportunity to complete a league double as they face Bournemouth, one of only two teams that the Baggies managed to beat in the first half of the season.
The Hawthorns fixture was on the opening day of the season way back when Albion fans were looking forward to the season with anticipation. It was won thanks to a goal by new signing, Ahmed Hegazi, in a trademark Pulis 1-0 win.
Such trademarks seem a distant memory and both Tony Pulis, and 1-0 wins it seems, have been confined to Albion’s history.
The club have seemingly decided to keep Alan Pardew in charge for the remainder of the season, despite apparent strong opposition from the bulk of the fans. Whether it is a financial decision, or an unwillingness to tarnish someone like Darren Moore with an inevitable relegation, it doesn’t give the fans much to look forward to for the rest of the season.
When the fixtures were announced, Bournemouth away on St Paddy’s Day looked quite attractive – enjoy a day on the Guinness in the spring sunshine by the sea, perhaps? But with the football unlikely to be enjoyable and the weather forecast to be very cold and wet, the Guinness is perhaps the only thing to save the day!
After last week’s capitulation against Leicester, I can’t see any way back for Albion now. That’s 21 points that they have surrendered from winning positions this season, and that is, perhaps, the story of the season in one statistic.
Eddie Howe’s team still need a few points before safety is confirmed. They are sitting in 12th place on 33 points, 6 points above the relegation zone and are on a run of four games without a win, although that is somewhat better than the Baggies’ run of seven straight defeats.
Saturday will be just the 21st meeting between the sides, and the 16th in the league. Albion have edged it having won nine games to the Cherries’ seven, but the Baggies have won just three times at Dean Court with their only league win in Dorset coming in January 1993 when David Speedie grabbed the only goal of the game. That completed the league double with Ossie Ardiles’ team having beaten Tony Pulis’s Bournemouth the previous August.
Albion have scored four goals against Bournemouth on two occasions, the most recent being at Dean Court in 2011 when they won a League Cup tie 4-1 thanks to goals from Jerome Thomas, Marc-Antoine Fortuné (2) and Simon Cox.
Bournemouth have never beaten the Baggies by more than one goal, with their biggest win coming on Albion’s first league visit to Dean Court in 1987 when Tony Pulis was on the scoresheet for the hosts, along with Trveor Aylott and David Shearer. Don Goodman and Andy Gray scored for the visitors in a 3-2 win for the hosts.
I’m now finding it difficult to see how Albion can get themselves out of this run of defeats. Home win.
All competitions; most recent game on the right
12 Aug 2017 – Premier League
West Brom 1 (Hegazi)
AFC Bournemouth 0
Last meeting at AFC Bournemouth
10 Sep 2016 – Premier League
AFC Bournemouth 1 (Wilson)
West Brom 0
Last win at AFC Bournemouth
23 Aug 2011 – League Cup 2nd Round
AFC Bournemouth 1 (Lovell)
West Brom 4 (Thomas, Fortuné (2), Cox)
Albion’s Record against AFC Bournemouth
|Premier League Record|