West Brom vs Stoke City: Premier League match preview, likely line-ups and score prediction
West Brom will look to keep up their perfect start to the new Premier League season when Stoke City take the short trip across the Midlands on Sunday afternoon.
Victories over Bournemouth and Burnley have given Tony Pulis’ side a 100% start to the season as they look to emulate their excellent pre-Christmas run of results last year, sitting third in the table.
Despite losing on the opening day to Everton, Mark Hughes will be looking to build on his side’s monumental victory at home to Arsenal last weekend as he strives to finish in the top-half.
The Baggies have started their season in unspectacular yet effective fashion once again under Tony Pulis, recording back-to-back 1-0 wins against potential tricky opponents Bournemouth and Burnley.
A comfortable midweek victory in the Carabao Cup against League Two’s Accrington Stanley has maintained their momentum – making it three from three – and they will be looking for another win.
On the other side, Stoke City responded superbly from an uninspiring defeat to Everton on the opening weekend to shock Arsene Wenger’s side and secure a determined 1-0 win last Saturday.
New signing Jese Rodriguez was the difference on that occasion and Mark Hughes will no doubt be looking to the ex-Real Madrid and PSG forward to inspire again against a dogged West Brom outfit.
With Jonny Evans’ future remaining in the balance amidst ongoing speculation of a move to Manchester City, summer signing Ahmed Hegazi will retain his spot in the heart of their defence.
He will line up alongside Craig Dawson – who penned a new deal this week – whilst Salomon Rondon could make a return to the starting eleven as Tony Pulis tinkers with his system.
It is good news as far as the visitors are concerned as Xherdan Shaqiri and Erik Pieters are both in contention to start on Sunday, overcoming respective knocks picked up in the victory over Arsenal.
Aside from that it looks set to be an unchanged eleven from the side that took the field at the Bet365 Stadium last weekendwith Jese set to line-up behind fellow new arrival Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
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Match Prediction: West Brom 0-0 Stoke City
Neither side will want their respective good starts to the season slip on Sunday afternoon and, considering both managers set up from the back, it could well be a tactical affair at the Hawthorns.
In West Brom and Stoke City there are arguably the two of the best – and most miserly – defences out of any side outside of the top six on show so do not expect a goal-fest.
It comes across as one of those matches that could be defined by either a moment of brilliance or one mistake, but both sides will most likely be relatively happy should they leave with a point apiece.