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West Brom vs. Southampton: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

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          West Brom vs. Southampton: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

          As the Championship season crescendos into the tension-packed playoffs, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton prepare to clash in the semi-final stage this Sunday. With promotion to the Premier League tantalisingly within reach for both sides, this fixture sets the stage for a riveting encounter filled with tactical nuances and individual battles.

          Date: 12/05/2024

          Kick-off time: 14:15

          Location: The Hawthorns

          Under the stewardship of Carlos Corberán, West Brom have enjoyed a campaign that far exceeded the expectations of many. Finishing 5th in the league with 75 points from 46 games, the Baggies have demonstrated resilience and tactical acumen. Corberán, hailed as one of England’s most promising young managers, has effectively maximised the output from a squad that, while not the most talented in the division, possesses enough quality to challenge any team on their day.

          The historical context adds an intriguing layer to West Brom’s playoff aspirations. The club is aiming for its 11th promotion to England’s top tier—a testament to its yo-yo existence between divisions. However, their playoff history is less illustrious, with only one successful promotion from four attempts. This mixed record underscores the unpredictable nature of playoff football and the psychological barriers the team must overcome.

          Southampton, finishing the season in 4th place with 87 points, enter the playoffs under different circumstances. The club’s primary ambition was to achieve automatic promotion, making the playoffs a consolatory pathway back to the Premier League following last season's relegation. The style of play under Russell Martin has often been visually appealing, characterised by fluid passing and movement. Yet, there remains a vulnerability to Southampton’s game—a softness at the core—that has been exploited by opponents, casting doubts on their ability to handle the gritty nature of playoff competition.

          Having only once before participated in the playoffs— a heart-wrenching semi-final penalty shootout loss to Derby County in 2007—the Saints have limited experience in this high-stakes format. Despite this, the history of recent encounters with West Brom might instil a degree of confidence; Southampton have won four out of the last five meetings, including a season double over the Baggies with a 2-1 home win and a 2-0 victory away.

          The match-up between Corberán’s West Brom and Martin’s Southampton promises a clash of contrasting styles. West Brom, under Corberán, are likely to adopt a pragmatic approach. They are expected to be well-organised defensively and utilise the counter-attack, exploiting Southampton’s known vulnerabilities. The focus will be on maintaining shape and discipline, breaking up Southampton’s rhythmic play, and capitalising on any transitional opportunities.

          In contrast, Southampton will look to dominate possession and control the pace of the game. Martin’s side will need to translate their aesthetic style into effective offensive actions. The key challenge for Southampton will be to break down a resilient West Brom defence while ensuring they remain compact and not susceptible to counter-attacks. Player performances in midfield will be crucial, with Southampton needing to find creative solutions to unlock a stout West Brom backline.

          The mental aspect of playoff football cannot be understated. For West Brom, the challenge will be to overcome historical playoff disappointments and harness the underdog spirit that has epitomised their season. For Southampton, the task is equally daunting; they must shake off the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion and refocus on the immediate challenge.

          As both teams step onto the pitch, the pressure of expectation will weigh heavily. For West Brom, the match is a chance to continue defying odds under Corberán’s guidance. For Southampton, it’s an opportunity to salvage a season that promised more but has yet to deliver the ultimate goal.

          Draw

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          Draw @ 13/5
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          West Brom To Win Either Half

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          West Brom To Win Either Half @ 10/11
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          Under 2.5 Match Goals

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          Under 2.5 Match Goals @ 1/1
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          Team News

          West Brom Team News:

          The Baggies have only two notable absentees coming into this game with midfielder Jayson Molumby and striker Daryl Dike both on the sidelines.

          Strikers Brandon Thomas-Asante and Josh Maja will battle it out to start up top, while Jed Wallace will hope to be preferred to Tom Fellows out wide.

          Southampton Team News:

          The Saints are likely to still be without midfielder Stuart Armstrong which is a blow to their chances. Goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu will miss the entirety of the playoffs, while Juan Larios is unlikely to make it back in time for this one.

          Striker Ross Stewart made his long-awaited return from injury off the bench against Leeds United on the final day of the season, so he'll hope for some more minutes off the bench throughout Southampton's playoff run.

          Form Guide

          West Brom's form has been very mixed at the back end of the season with the Baggies having won two and lost three of their last five games. Fortunately for them, they're are coming into the playoffs on a positive note having hammered Preston North End on the final day of the campaign 3-0, with the goals coming from Alex Mowatt, Kyle Bartley and Darnell Furlong.

          Before that win, though, came a fairly dismal three-match losing streak, where Carlos Corberán's side fell to defeats against Sheffield Wednesday (3-0), Leicester City (2-1) and Sunderland (0-1). Those losses were preceded by a 2-0 win over Rotherham United, courtesy of goals from Brandon Thomas-Asante and John Swift.

          On home soil, West Brom have won three, drawn one and lost one of their last five games.

          Southampton have been unconvincing themselves at times at the back end of the season with Russell Martin's men having won two and lost three of their last five games. The pattern of their last five results has been identical to that of West Brom, with the Saints having delivered a good performance on the last day of the season in a 2-1 win away at Leeds United thanks to goals from Adam Armstrong and Will Smallbone.

          Prior to that came three defeats on the bounce, where Southampton lost to Stoke City (0-1), Leicester City (5-0) and Cardiff City (2-1). Before that, the Saints romped to a 3-0 win over Preston North End thanks to a Ché Adams brace and a goal from Stuart Armstrong.

          Away from home Southampton have struggled lately, with the Saints having won one, drawn one and lost three of their last five games on the road.

          Footy Accumulators Prediction

          Southampton are the rightful favourites here but both of these sides have been unconvincing at times in recent weeks so anything could happen here. Southampton fared well against West Brom on both occasions these two sides met this season and that is likely a strong indicator as to how this matchup will go. We expect the Baggies to learn from those two games, however, and likely deliver an improved performance here, but we're not sure if that will be enough for the crucial first leg lead that they need. West Brom 1-1 Southampton.

          Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

          Header logoChampionship

          PosClubPWDLGDPTS
          4
          Team logoSouthampton
          4626911+2487
          5
          Team logoWest Bromwich
          46211213+2375
          6
          Team logoNorwich
          46211015+1573
          Last updated 22/05/2024

          Header logoChampionship

          PosClubPWDLGDPTS
          3
          Team logoLeeds
          4627910+3890
          4
          Team logoSouthampton
          4626911+2487
          5
          Team logoWest Bromwich
          46211213+2375
          Last updated 22/05/2024

          Where To Watch

          This game will be aired live for all subscribed U.K. viewers on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.

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