West Bromwich Albion will hope to continue with their great start to the Premier League season when they travel up north on Saturday November 24 to take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. The club also hopes 31-year-old striker Peter Odemwingie can continue to find the back of the net for them as he’s scored three goals in his past three matches. His goals have helped the team reach fourth place in the table heading into the weekend’s games.
West Brom manager Steve Clarke has done well in his first year at the helm so far and is coming into this game off of a 2-1 win over Chelsea at home last weekend. The team has a lot of confidence at the moment and that should be boosted even more with the return of goaltender Ben Foster, who could be back between the posts in Sunderland. Foster has missed the last pair of games due to a groin problem.
Sunderland is sitting in 15th place in the 20-team league and while they don’t win many games they don’t lose many either. They’re coming off of a 3-1 away win over 10-man Fulham last weekend. Striker Steven Fletcher is the top man for the team with his six league goals so far and West Brom will need to keep an eye on him. Manager Martin O’Neill has the team playing well defensively and it has the third-best goals against average in the league.
The biggest problem with the squad is that they can’t score goals. Fletcher has six out of their grand total of 10 on the season and they’re the second-lowest scoring team in the table. There’s some good news for O’Neill as midfielder Craig Gardner rejoins the team after sitting out the Fulham match with a suspension. The rest of the starting 11 should be the same as last week’s. The Fulham win was the first for Sunderland since late September and it was the first time all season they managed three goals in a game.
Sunderland has just one win in their last six matches to go along with two draws and three losses. West Brom has managed four wins and two losses in their past half dozen games. West Brom has seven wins, two draws and three losses on the season for 23 points with 19 goals for and 13 against. Sunderland has just two wins, six draws and three losses for a dozen points with 10 goals for and 12 against.
It’s obvious that Sunderland is dropping too many points with its draws and will need to start to pick up some wins if they hope to stay safely above the relegation zone. If Fletcher is held off the scoreboard then the team’s in trouble. They likely won’t win this game or lose it, so look for a draw here.
Sportsbook William Hill shows the latest odds on the match to be 13/10 for a Sunderland win with a West Brom victory at 15/8 and a draw at 23/10.