On paper it looks like West Brom have been handed a soft-ish start to their Premier League campaign, but Sunderland have last season’s momentum on their side.
Alan Irvine’s Hawthorn’s appointment is not the most inspiring from a Baggies perspective and although they will start as narrow 13/10 favourites due to home advantage over Gus Poyet’s visitors, the Black Cats are predicted to prevail.
These two sides met in the penultimate round of Premier League games last season and Sunderland came away with the points in a convincing 2-0 victory, albeit at the Stadium of Light.
Way before that in September West Brom had triumphed 3-0 in the reverse fixture, but late in the season it was Sunderland’s turn to finally click and they did so in some style; winning at Manchester United and Chelsea to avoid the drop.
In contrast, the Midlands club’s season tailed off woefully, seeing them lose the last three games and only collecting three of the last 15 available points.
Furthermore, had the Black Cats’ finishing position been based purely on away form they’d have finished 10th last term.
In recent times one notable feature of West Brom games on the first day of the season is that they’ve not been lacking for goals.
In the past four seasons the Baggies’ opening-day fixtures have produced no fewer than 13 of them, at just over three-per-game.
Solid enough evidence to back the goal-line to exceed the 2.5 mark.
Neither of these sides can claim defending was their forte last season, seeing as only the relegated trio and Aston Villa conceded more.
Keeping their respective sheets clean therefore is probably beyond them.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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