Inside Track: West Brom

By SFC Media time Wed 18 Oct Saints v West Brom
Photo by Getty Images

Ahead of Southampton's next Premier League match, we spoke with Birmingham Mail journalist Joe Chapman to get a full scouting report on Saturday's visitors, West Bromwich Albion...

After a bright start, the Baggies haven’t won since the end of August. What’s the mood like around the Hawthorns at the moment?

There's a newfound expectation after such a positive transfer window.

That Albion haven't won in their last six matches - incidentally since many of the new signings arrived - means that spirits aren't particularly high at the moment, especially after conceding late goals against Watford and Leicester when leading in their last two games.


Photo by Getty Images
Nacer Chadli's excellent free-kick earned West Brom a share of the spoils against Leicester on Monday night.

That might be the collective feeling among the majority of the fan base, but from an individual point of view Nacer Chadli will be flying - his first league appearance of the season on Monday was of course crowned with that wonderful free-kick.

What are supporters expecting from West Brom this season? What would go down as a successful campaign?

While Tony Pulis is doing the job asked of him, I think a number of Albion fans would desire a more attractive style of football each week, now that the squad is of such good quality.

A repeat of last season's top ten finish would certainly be appreciated too. The fifty-point total is still elusive (49 in 2013 remains the club's highest Premier League finish) so that'd be another box to tick.

The Baggies earned plaudits for their transfer business over the summer, how have the new recruits – in particular Jay Rodriguez – been settling in so far?

Generally very well.

Rodriguez was the club's first arrival in the summer, and he started promisingly. He enjoyed a positive pre-season and has two goals this campaign.

Photo by Getty Images
Jay Rodriguez joined West Brom from Southampton in the summer transfer window, signing a four-year deal.

He's so far remained fit which is a major plus and there are whispers of Gareth Southgate considering handing him an England recall.

Pulis has utilised RODRIGUEZ depending on the opponent; one week Rodriguez may lead the line, the next he will be wide of Salomon Rondon.

Elsewhere, Kieran Gibbs was Albion's stand-out performer on Monday night. He's been a particularly welcome arrival, as the left-back position had previously been a long-term issue.

Grzegorz Krychowiak looks a real coup, he's settled in well in midfield, while Gareth Barry and Ahmed Hegazi have been generally steady.

We're yet to see much of Oliver Burke, who has had trouble with injury.

Who should Saints fans be looking out for in the West Brom line-up on Saturday?

Certainly Krychowiak. He's proven that, given time on the ball, he can hurt teams from the middle of the park.

Photo by Getty Images
Grzegorz Krychowiak has made a strong start following his loan move from Paris Saint-Germain

Craig Dawson remains the Baggies' prominent aerial threat, so keep a keen eye on him for set-pieces.

A Rodriguez goal on his first St Mary's return wouldn't go amiss either!

Davis: Win will give us confidence in front of goal
Saints v West Brom

Davis: Win will give us confidence in front of goal

Skipper hopes Saints can be more clinical after West Brom victory.

timeMon 23 Oct
Boufal: I was so determined Boufal: I was so determined On This Day: Saints edge bad-tempered Leeds affair video02:28
video
On This Day

On This Day: Saints edge bad-tempered Leeds affair

James Beattie scored the only goal at The Dell in 2000.

Staplewood Soccer Schools are back for Christmas U18 Preview: Saints vs Sheffield Wednesday