Southampton face The Baggies and look to build upon win last weekend
Southampton to win 2-0
Until last weekend, both Southampton and West Brom were pointless after two defeats from two games, with performances dull enough to wonder where their first points of the season would come from.
West Brom then shocked Chelsea with a blistering first half display that put them 3-0 ahead, only for Frank Lampard’s side to bite back and claim a draw.
Southampton fared slightly better still, by beating Burnley in a tight encounter, with their topscorer last season Danny Ings netting his first goal of the new campaign.
So, these teams both have their first points of the season, but all is clearly not rosy near the bottom of the table.
Southampton will fancy their chances, especially now that Ings has a taste for goals again, though as we saw last weekend, West Brom can spring a surprise when least expected.
Form Guide (all comps): LLLW
Reasons to be cheerful:
Won their last three league meetings against West Brom
Will be licking their lips playing against the worst defence in the league
Reasons to be fearful:
Forward players haven’t got started yet this season
West Brom can cause problems
Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will be hoping that his side can now pick up a good run of form after securing their first win of the season against Burnley last weekend.
They’ve not played particularly well so far, but will take credit from being more solid in defence, as well as their key striker Danny Ings scoring the winner.
Southampton also have a great recent record against The Baggies, only losing once in their last seven meetings.
They must improve their chance-creation – they failed to have a shot on target other than Ings’ goal last weekend, showing that they have to do more as a collective to improve their form.
West Brom are really struggling, however, and will be gutted not to win against Chelsea last weekend. If Southampton have any hope of reaching the top half of the table, they must be ruthless in these sorts of games.
Star Man – Danny Ings
Finally off the mark this season, he has scored 46% of Southampton’s goals since the start of last year
Form Guide (all comps): LWLLD
Reasons to be cheerful
Will take heart from their performance against Chelsea
Forward players starting to find some form
Reasons to be fearful
Conceded a league-high 11 goals so far this season
Will struggle this season unless they improve defensively
West Brom will consider themselves desperately unlucky that they couldn’t come away with a victory against Chelsea last weekend. Their first half performance certainly deserved the three points.
Chelsea came out swinging in the second half and in the end, it was a little bit like men vs. boys in Chelsea’s favour.
A draw against Chelsea is always a bonus for a team like West Brom, but manager Slaven Bilic will hope his players are not too deflated at how close they came to winning.
There were plenty of positives – their forward players are now starting to find some form in front of goal, with Callum Robinson scoring a double, Pereira having a hand in two goals in three games and youngster Grady Diangana looking like a real handful.
Defensively is the question mark, however, and if they are to survive relegation this season, they will have to significantly tighten up at the back.
They will be wary of Danny Ings and it could be a long afternoon if they give him chances.
Star Man – Callum Robinson
Scored for the first time since August 2019, he took his goals against Chelsea excellently
Southampton will be favourites if they can get Ings chances
If the Saints can create chances, this could be a one-sided match
West Brom underdogs but can cause problems
Southampton will absolutely look at this as a chance to pick up another three points, particularly at home.
They will be confident that Danny Ings can go on a goalscoring run similar to last season and propel them up towards the top half of the table.
West Brom’s defence is leaky, and unless they tighten up soon, they may find themselves firmly secured in the relegation places.
The likes of Robinson and Diangana cause score goals if they get chances, but Southampton will be confident here.
Southampton to win 2-0