saintsfc.co.uk takes a look ahead to Southampton's game against West Bromwich Albion in the Barclays Premier League at the Hawthorns on Saturday. (Kick-off 3pm).
Southampton will be looking to pick up a fifth-straight win away from home in the Premier League when they make the trip to the Hawthorns to take on West Bromwich Albion.
Ronald Koeman’s side have seen off QPR, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Crystal Palace in their last four away games, but have found the going tougher at St Mary’s.
They head into Saturday’s game on the back of defeat to Liverpool, as goals from Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling earned Brendan Rodgers’ side a 2-0 win on Sunday.
West Brom have picked up some form since the arrival of Tony Pulis, losing just one of their last seven games in the league. Last weekend they drew 0-0 with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
At the Hawthorns so far this season the Baggies have won four, drawn three and lost six of their 13 games, while Saints have won seven, drawn one and lost four of their games on the road.
Ronald Koeman will be without Toby Alderweireld on Saturday despite the defender resuming full training. The manager hopes to have him back for Tuesday’s game against Crystal Palace.
Ryan Bertrand returns from suspension for the trip to the Hawthorns.
James Morrison and Saido Berahino could be doubtful after picking up knocks against Sunderland last weekend but Tony Pulis hopes to have Victor Anichebe back in training ahead of Saturday’s game.
Alan Irvine took charge of West Brom in the summer after Pepe Mel left the club by mutual consent following the 2013/14 campaign coming to an end.
But following a poor start, Irvine was relieved of his duties at the end of December with Albion having won just one of their previous nine league games.
Rob Kelly took charge of their New Year’s Day trip to West Ham before Tony Pulis was appointed at the start of the year. Pulis, who guided Crystal Palace to safety last season, has lost just once since his arrival.
Albion have beaten Hull City and Swansea City at home in the league, as well as picking up draws at Everton, Burnley and Sunderland. They are also into the sixth round of the FA Cup, having seen off Gateshead, Birmingham City and West Ham.
Record signing Brown Ideye, who joined in the summer and almost left in January, has been rejuvenated under Pulis, scoring against Burnley and Swansea in the league and West Ham in the FA Cup.
Heading into Saturday’s game, West Brom sit 14th in the table, five points clear of the relegation zone.
Ronald Koeman said: “I think we’re doing well. If you go back to the game against Liverpool, I think we deserved more than we got. Every game is difficult.
“In the last part of the season, there is no easy game – everybody will fight. It’s not easy to score against West Brom. All of their results in the last few weeks have been very close.
“They’re very strong at set-pieces. That’s a big quality of theirs.”
Tony Pulis said: “They have had a wonderful season. I think their record is testament to the way they’ve played and performed. [Ronald Koeman has] done a wonderful job there.
“It’s going to be a tough game, they’ve got all the tools. They are physically strong enough, they have good footballers, good pace and you can see why they are up the top of the Premier League.”
Phil Dowd will take charge of Saturday’s game at the Hawthorns between Saints and West Brom.
The 52-year-old official has overseen 25 game so far this season, showing 110 yellow cards in that time as well as four reds.
Dowd has taken charge of two other Saints games on the road this season; the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at Villa Park and the famous 1-0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Dowd’s last game was the 2-2 draw between Everton and Leicester City in the Barclays Premier League last weekend.
Stay tuned to the official website and the club’s YouTube channel for reaction to the game.