Another home defeat for the Baggies means that since reaching forty points, Tony Pulis’s team have lost five of seven matches, failing to scoring in six of them and picking up just four points.
Having reached the Welshman’s magical target so early, it was hoped that his dreadful record of his teams not winning more than one game after reaching 40 points might finally be consigned to history, but there is a dreadful feeling of déjà vu at the Hawthorns. A record Premier League total of 50 points, very achievable six weeks ago, looks a long way away with Albion needing another six points from their final five games.
With next week’s scheduled game against Manchester City postponed until mid May due to City’s FA Cup semi final, Albion will now play three of their last four games away from the Hawthorns, with their only home game being against league leaders, Chelsea. The next match against Leicester City at the end of April looks to be a key game if Albion’s season is not to peter out completely.
The comparison with Albion’s current record points tally from 2013 puts Steve Clarke’s team a point ahead at the same stage. Looking for positive omens, Albion managed to get eight points from their last five games two seasons ago in Pulis’s first finish, but they hadn’t yet managed to get to the 40 point mark, and Roy Hodgson’s teams managed the same total in both finishes during his tenure in 2011 and 2012. Even the finish of Tony Mowbray’s team in 2009 would be good enough this season as they managed seven points from their last five games, although they did have home games against Sunderland and Wigan.
|Comparison of Equivalent Fixtures^|
|2015/2016 Results||Liverpool (H)||D||1-1|
|Leicester City (H)||L||2-3|
|2002/2003||12/04/2003||Everton (H)||L||1-2||Balis (pen)|
|2004/2005||20/04/2005||Tottenham Hotspur (A)||D||1-1||Gera|
|2005/2006||09/04/2006||Aston Villa (A)||D||0-0|
|2008/2009||19/04/2009||Manchester City (A)||L||2-4||Brunt (2)|
|2011/2012||11/04/2012||Manchester City (A)||L||0-4|
|2012/2013||20/04/2013||Newcastle United (H)||D||1-1||Jones|
|2013/2014||12/04/2014||Tottenham Hotspur (H)||D||3-3||Vydra, Brunt, Sessègnon|
|2014/2015||18/04/2015||Crystal Palace (A)||W||2-0||Morrison, Gardner|
|2002/2003||19/04/2003||Sunderland (A)||W||2-1||McInnes (2)|
|2008/2009||25/04/2009||Sunderland (H)||W||3-0||Olsson, Brunt, Menseguez|
|2010/2011||23/04/2011||Tottenham Hotspur (A)||D||2-2||Odemwingie, Cox|
|2011/2012||14/04/2012||Queen’s Park Rangers (H)||W||1-0||Dorrans|
|2012/2013||27/04/2013||Southampton (A)||W||3-0||Fortuné, Lukaku, Long|
|2013/2014||21/04/2014||Manchester City (A)||L||1-3||Dorrans|
|2016/2017||29/04/2017||Leicester City (H)|
* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the Premier League table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.
^ Fixtures against promoted clubs are compared against fixtures against the relegated clubs from last season with the club finishing 1st in the Championship compared against the club finishing 18th in the Premier League, 2nd compared with 19th and the play-off winners compared against the club who finished bottom.