Southampton will be looking to return to the top four of the Premier League with all three points against West Bromwich Albion, who have lost just once so far in 2015.
After two dominant home performances against Swansea City in the league and then West Ham United in the FA Cup, Albion’s trip to Sunderland last time out was a much tighter affair, but they will undoubtedly have been the happier of the two sides from a fairly tame goalless draw.
Since becoming Head Coach, Tony Pulis has restored Claudio Yacob to the midfield, and the Argentine has been a key part in the Baggies’ improved run of form. He can be expected to play a major role here, relishing what promises to be a decisive battle with Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama.
Being away from home seems to have suited Southampton considerably more in recent weeks, with four wins in succession on the road coming in complete contrast to a run of three home matches where they have taken just one point and have failed to register a goal despite significant possession and territory.
That was the story last time out against Liverpool as they missed their chance to return to third spot. Graziano Pelle gave the Reds defence a difficult afternoon in the pouring rain, but again had little to feed off with Sadio Mane benched for turning up late and Eljero Elia putting in a poor performance.
Victor Anichebe will hope to make his return for West Brom, but Saido Berahino and James Morrison both face late fitness tests.
Steven Davis could feature for Saints despite being forced off at half-time against Liverpool, but Toby Alderweireld and Jay Rodriguez remain out.
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