West Brom and Southampton meet at the Hawthorns with both clubs hoping to start where they left off following strong campaigns last term.
Steve Clarke’s side benefited from their strong opening to the season last year and will want to start in similar fashion having looked to run out of steam towards the end of last year. Clarke has added well, bringing in former charge Nicolas Anelka, Diego Lugano and Matej Vydra to sure up numbers in the squad. Baggies fans will be hoping that someone will step into the big shoes left by Romelu Lukaku and score some much needed goals.
The Saints saw Mauricio Pochettino take over midway through last season and saw some impressive displays. They have added defensive backbone in Victor Wanyama and Dejan Lovren and could well see a top half finish if they can score the goals needed. Rickie Lambert’s moral will surely be high after a great first Premier League season and scoring on his England debut, and he will be looking for another strong showing in a World Cup year.
West Brom only have two injury concerns to deal with, as both Zoltan Gera and George Thorne look set to miss out with knee injuries. Other than that, Clarke will have a clean bill of health over his squad.
Full-backs Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw are both struggling for fitness and could be doubts for Southampton.
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