West Brom relegation looming large as winless run continues
Pepe Mel looks to have held on to his gig as West Brom gaffer by his gnarled finger tips following a 3-0 home loss against Manchester United, but with one win from their last 18 Premier League games the Baggies look cracking value at 22/10 to lose their Premier League status come May.
Their last victory – one of only five in all competitions during the campaign – came on New Year’s Day against Newcastle under former caretaker coach Keith Downing, with Mel’s seven games in charge bringing just four points from four home draws and three defeats.
Two away matches in a row are up next, against a Swansea side that’s taken seven points from their last available nine at the Liberty Stadium and a Hull outfit buoyed by three victories in their past four games in all competitions, so it’s difficult to see a first Baggies win since their Spanish boss took charge coming any time soon.
West Brom currently hover a place above the relegation zone with 25 points, the same as 18th-placed Cardiff, but even if their beleaguered boss can lead them to victory in their next home match against the Bluebirds, Mel still has to deal with the threat to their survival Sunderland are likely to pose.
Due to their dual cup exploits, the Black Cats have played just 26 games to the Baggies 28 and are yet to host the Midlands side at the Stadium of Light, where Gus Poyet has led his team to victory in five of their last seven fixtures.
Former Real Betis boss Mel – who plied his trade as a striker during his playing days in Spain – has seen his charges score more than one goal in a match just once since becoming a Premier League manager in mid-January.
England Under-21 international Saido Berahino is the club’s top scorer in the division this term with a paltry four goals and the Burundi-born prospect hasn’t found the back of the net since grabbing the winner against the Magpies over two months ago.
With Shane Long sold to Hull, Nicolas Anelka suspended and set for the knacker’s yard and no other player in West Brom’s squad able to boast more than three strikes in all competitions during the entire campaign, it’s difficult to see where the goals they need to survive will come from.
Norwich, Tottenham, Manchester City, West Ham, Arsenal and Stoke complete their fixture list between now and season’s end and while Mel will be confident of a first win in charge during that run – if he keeps his job long enough – Premier League survival looks well beyond the wretched Baggies reach.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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