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Saints vs West Brom: Preview

PUBLISHED

16:59 25th April 2013

Southampton host eighth placed Albion this weekend hoping to close the gap on the Baggies to three points.

The penultimate home game of the season is the first of four remaining league fixtures in the current campaign with Saints heading into that spell on the back of a six game unbeaten run.

A goalless draw at Swansea last weekend extended Mauricio Pochettino’s men run of matches without a loss, and they return to home soil where they have tasted defeat only once since the Argentine coach was appointed in January.

Back in November, Saints were beaten 2-0 at the Hawthorns, a result which left the team bottom of the Premier League table with four points to their name after ten matches played.

A thirteen point gap was established between the Baggies and Saints as a result, after Steve Clarke’s side had made a blistering start to the season.

Now, the two teams are separated by only six points and four places, with both clubs looking to secure top half finishes.

West Brom were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle last time out, and are without a Premier League win since 9th March when they beat Swansea 2-1 at the Hawthorns.
They host strugglers Wigan next weekend before travelling to Manchester City.

Only one current player links the two teams with current injured Saints man Richard Chaplow having played for the Baggies between 2005-08, and spending a loan spell between that time at St Mary’s.

Team News

Guly has recovered from the illness that sidelined him for the trip to South Wales last weekend, whilst Kelvin Davis overcame a leg injury to take his place on the subs bench.

Luke Shaw returned to the squad but couldn’t dislodge Danny Fox who played at left back and will be hoping to keep his place in the side.

However, midfielder James Ward-Prowse is likely to miss the game with a knock sustained in the Under-21s’ draw with the Baggies last weekend.

Previous Meetings

Much has changed since the 2-0 defeat in the reverse of this fixture back in November, when Peter Odemwingie struck in each half for the hosts. A thirteen point gap which was established then, could drop down to three after this weekend.

Prior to this season, Saints and West Brom last met on a competitive basis in April 2008, with the Baggies looking to finalise their promotion to the Premier League and their visitors fighting for safety at the other end of the table.

Adam Lallana's first goal for the Club looked to have put Saints on the way to a vital win, but Brunt's equaliser six minutes from time was enough to ensure the hosts sealed their place in the top flight.

The two teams have faced one-another nine times in the past decade, with five of those ending in draws, two in Southampton victories and two going the way of the Baggies.

Saints also faced Albion in a friendly during the summer of 2011 following promotion to the Championship. The hosts came from behind twice to draw 2-2 against their top-flight opponents thanks to headed goals from Jack Cork and Rickie Lambert.

Competitively, Southampton and West Brom have faced each-other on 69 occasions. 24 of those games have gone Saints' way, 22 have ended in draws and 21 in Baggies victories.

Match Information

Robert Madley will referee Saturday’s game, and he will be assisted by Mr M Mullarkey and Mr S Bennett. Phil Dowd is the fourth official.

There is important travel information regarding Redbridge roundabout over the weekend, click here to read more. + Car Parking information.

Online Coverage

As with every First Team game, we'll be providing minute-by-minute coverage throughout the day on our official Twitter feed plus goal updates on our official Facebook page.

You can listen to live commentary courtesy of BBC Solent on Saints Player, where you can keep up to date with all the stats and scores from around the country.

Mauricio Pochettino and Maya Yoshida have spoken to Saints Player ahead of the game, and you will be able to watch his interview – as well as the full press conference – before Saturday.

After the game there will be plenty more content on saintsfc.co.uk and Saints Player, so stay tuned!

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