Relegation candidates – yo-yo club West Brom crave stability
True to their fans’ chant of ‘boing, boing, Baggies’, West Brom are a team famed for their tendency to bounce between the Premier League and Championship.
Having secured automatic promotion from the second tier last season, West Brom embark on another campaign in the top flight which they hope will last longer than their usual brief stays.
England international Scott Carson was by some distance the best goalkeeper in the Championship last season, and he will be a focal part of the Baggies’ backline.
West Brom are 8/11 to stay up this term, and their hopes of survival will depend heavily on Carson’s ability to keep their potent Premier League opponents at bay.
At evens to be relegated, West Brom are expected to struggle this season, and it is in defence where they could be weakest.
When they were last in the Premier League, centre-back was a problem position for the Baggies, and they have endeavoured to improve this area of the side.
Pablo Ibanez is an eye-catching acquisition, and the Spain international should complement the rugged qualities of Abdoulaye Meite in central defence.
Midfield is a rich source of creativity and goals for West Brom. Graham Dorrans scored 13 league goals last season, and the Baggies have rejected numerous bids for the 23-year-old Scot.
Chris Brunt had a similarly prolific campaign with 13 goals of his own, and if these two can fire again, West Brom could be worth backing to be the top Midlands club at 16/1.
In Roman Bednar and Ishmael Miller, West Brom have plenty of power up front, though a lack of a proven Premier League goalscorer could cost them dearly.
Di Matteo’s men are 10/1 to finish in the top ten, but such a position could elude a side dependent on the likes of Luke Moore – who has just 15 strikes in 90 Premier League games – to provide the goals.
Who do you think will struggle this season? Wigan are 9/4 to be relegated. See the full Barclays Premier League Betting Odds market.