Match Preview – Brighton v West Bromwich Albion

westbromhomepreview2017

West Brom – the team
The last time we faced West Bromwich Albion, John Major was on the throne, Charles and Diana were still married and somebody decided it would be a good idea to have blue and white striped shorts with the Albion’s home kit, making us look like a set of deck chairs. The year was 1992 and since then we’ve seemed destined never to play each other. Whenever we’ve been promoted to the Championship, they went up to the Premier League. Whenever they came down from the Premier League, we were relegated into League One. The Baggies have been a solid top flight team since 2010 and finished 10th last season under Tony Pulis, a man who although he may look like a pikey continues to get great results with moderately sized clubs. And small clubs, like Crystal Palace, of course.

West Brom – the place
Plenty of people think West Bromwich is just a suburb of Birmingham but it is actually a town in its own right, home to 75,000 odd people making it roughly twice the size of glamorous Burgess Hill. Its town hall is a Grade II listed building and the Hawthorns is the highest ground above sea level in the country. Remember that next time you are at a pub quiz.

West Brom – the people
Sour faced television presenter Adrian Chiles is famously a Baggies fan, as is Frank Skinner who also seems to be permanently miserable. We got rather excited when Wikipedia told us John Byrne came from West Brom, but unfortunately this turned out to be some comic book artist who moves to Canada at the age of eight rather than the fabulous Albion striker of the 1990s.

A good WeAreBrighton.com memory of West Brom at home
Given that your correspondent was only five last time West Brom came to Sussex, there aren’t actually any good memories to call upon. Scraping the barrel, but I did once pull a reasonably not West Brom fan while at university.

A bad WeAreBrighton.com memory of West Brom at home
Said reasonably hot West Brom fan never spoke to me again afterwards.

Played for both
We love loaning full backs from West Brom. Last season it was Sebastien Pocognoli who was excellent before moving permanently this summer to Standard Liege. Before that there were a couple of colourful characters in the 2011/12 season, Gonzalo Jara who missed a game when he was unexpectedly arrested on route for driving while banned and Joe Mattock who was ruled out of one match with what was described as a “male grooming injury”. Which essentially meant he cut his bollocks while shaving them.

Key men
England international Jake Livermore pulls the strings for West Brom in central midfield while we could also come up against former Albion youth team player Gareth Barry. It will be interesting to see if any of our supporters are able to notice him without him carrying a beach ball under his arm and a seagull on his head.

Betting
The draw is good value at a best priced 41/20. Given the way Anthony Knockaert played at Waford and with two more weeks training under his belts, the West Brom full backs could be in for a busy day and you can take him to score anytime at 10/3.

You can view our betting blog with OLBG here

Prediction
Some Albion fans seem to think this will be an easy game and three points is all but guaranteed. These people are either deluded, thick or most probably both. West Brom have a team of internationals across the park and in Pulis, a manager who always seems to beat us. Even when he was Palace manager in 2013-14 he managed to piss us off by turning them from Premier League laughing stock into the form team in the second half of the season. We’re plumping for a 1-1 draw. Surely we’ve got to score by now?

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