Southampton vs West Bromwich Albion: Preview and Prediction

Southampton will host West Bromwich Albion at St. Mary’s in the second leg of the Championship play-offs, looking to reach next week’s final.

Southampton and West Bromwich Albion played out a goalless draw in the first leg, and the Saints will fancy their chances at home on Friday. They are in similar form right now, and this is likely to be a cracking contest.

They have failed to win four of their last five matches in all competitions, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. Southampton have an impressive head-to-head record against West Brom in recent years, and they will be the favourites at home.

The visitors have failed to score against Southampton in their last two meetings, and it remains to be seen whether West Brom can break down the home defence this time around. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Southampton

Stuart Armstrong misses out with a hamstring injury, Gavin Bazunu is unavailable due to an Achilles tendon issue, while Juan Larios is sidelined with a hamstring problem. Southampton are likely to shape up in a 4-3-3 formation against West Bromwich Albion, with Alex McCarthy in goal.

 

In the full back areas, Kyle Walker-Peters will start alongside Jack Stephens. The two players will look to help out defensively and contribute during counter-attacking opportunities. Taylor Harwood-Bellis will start at the heart of the central defence alongside Jan Bednarek.

Russell Martin’s men were quite impressive at the back defensively in the first leg, and they will look to shut out the West Brom attack once again. Flynn Downes will start in the central midfield for Southampton, with Joe Aribo and Will Smallbone on either side of him.

The trio will look to keep things compact in the middle of the park and add creativity to the side. Finally, Che Adams will lead the line for Southampton against West Bromwich Albion, with Adam Armstrong and Ryan Fraser on either side of him.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Harwood-Bellis, Bednarek, Stephens; Smallbone, Downes, Aribo; Fraser; Adams, Armstrong

 

West Bromwich Albion

Jayson Molumby is ruled out with a foot injury, and Daryl Dike misses out with an Achilles tendon problem. The away side will shape up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Alex Palmer in goal.

Darnell Furlong and Conor Townsend will start as the full-backs. They will look to protect the central defenders and negate the threat from the flanks. Kyle Bartley will start at the heart central defence alongside Cedric Kipre.

As for the midfield unit, Okay Yokuslu will start alongside Alex Mowatt in the double pivot. They will look to shield the back four and break up opposition attacks. Grady Diangana will add creativity from the central areas, with Jed Wallace and Mikey Johnston on either side of him in the flanks. Finally, Brandon Thomas-Asante will lead the line for the Baggies.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Palmer; Furlong, Bartley, Kipre, Townsend; Yokuslu, Mowatt; Wallace, Diangana, Johnston; Thomas-Asante

Key Stats

  • Southampton have won their last three home matches against West Bromwich Albion in all competitions.
  • 13 goals have been scored in the last six meetings between these two teams.
  • Southampton are unbeaten in five of the last six meetings against West Bromwich Albion.
  • Both teams are winless and four of the last five matches in all competitions.
  • Southampton have conceded nine goals in their last five matches.

Player to Watch

Che Adams

The 27-year-old Scottish international has 16 goals and four assists in 25 Championship starts this season, and he is our key player to watch out for. Adams has been in impressive form this season, and he will look to breach the West Brom defence with his clinical presence in the final third.

In the wake of news that he will leave Southampton this summer, several clubs are showing interest in Adams. The home side will need him to step up and deliver if they want to win this game.

Prediction

Southampton 1-0 West Bromwich Albion

This is likely to be a close contest between both teams and they are in identical form right. They will be desperate for a win. Neither side will want to miss out on promotion to the Premier League and this is likely to be an evenly matched affair.

However, Southampton have an impressive record against the Baggies at home and they have a better team as well. They should be able to grind out a narrow victory.

 

 

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