West Bromwich Albion open their season at home to Sunderland with Alan Irvine taking charge of his first competitive match since his appointment back in June.
After a tumultuous season which saw them survive relegation on the penultimate weekend and also sack two managers, the arrival of Irvine came as a major surprise, due to his lack of managerial experience in the Premier League. They are widely tipped to struggle, but still have a fairly strong squad, particularly in defensive areas. In attack, they are pinning their hopes on new record signing Brown Ideye.
Having pulled off an amazing escape from relegation last season, Sunderland are looking to push on towards mid-table, and despite not yet completing the permanent signing of Fabio Borini, they look well equipped to do so. Gustavo Poyet has shown himself to be a very capable manager at this level, and his first task this time around will be to put right the Black Cat’s dismal recent record at the Hawthorns.
Ideye could make his debut, but fellow new signing Joleon Lescott is unlikely to feature for West Brom. Gareth McAuley is also a doubt, but James Morrison is definitely out.
For Sunderland, Billy Jones is a slight doubt and may not make his debut against his former club. Jordi Gomez and Jack Rodwell are likely to play, but Emanuele Giaccherini is out.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on West