Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 19 October 2013
SCENE SETTER //
THE Potters will be desperate to end a run of three successive defeats when they host in-form West Bromwich Albion at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
Despite an impressive start to the campaign, the side have yielded just seven points from their opening seven fixtures – a return that does nothing to reflect the encouraging start that Mark Hughes’ side have made.
Defeat at Fulham last time out summed up the season so far for Stoke, as Darren Bent broke the hearts of the Potters faithful with a fortuitous late winner for the Cottagers, despite being outplayed throughout the encounter by the visitors.
That result came on the back of a disappointing home defeat to Norwich, whilst a 3-1 loss at Arsenal prior to the Canaries clash could also have been turned into a much more positive result, had the Potters been able to capitalise on an incredibly dominant second half showing.
It’s back to the Britannia Stadium this weekend though as the side look to get back to winning ways, but they know they have it all to do against Albion, who arrive in these parts on the back of an impressive sequence of results.
A tremendous 2-1 away victory against reigning champions Manchester United has undoubtedly been the highlight of the Baggies campaign thus far, whilst they followed that up by ending Arsenal’s eight successive away victories at the Hawthorns two weeks ago.
Claudio Yacob’s first goal for the club looked to have been enough to secure the midlanders another impressive victory, however, England’s Jack Wilshire secured the Gunners a share of the spoils with a deflected second half effort.
Other highlights this season came in the shape of an emphatic 3-0 success against Sunderland, a victory that ultimately cost Italian Paolo Di Canio his job at the Stadium of Light.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing for Albion though, having embarked upon a tough start to the campaign, taking just two points from their opening four fixtures against Southampton (0-1), Everton (0-0), Swansea (0-2) and Fulham (1-1).
CLUB PROFILE //
Name: West Bromwich Albion
Nickname: The Baggies
Founded: 1878 (as West Bromwich Strollers)
Ground: The Hawthorns
Chairman: Jeremy Pearce
Head Coach: Steve Clarke
Last Season: 8th, Premier League
HONOURS LIST //
First Division / Premier League winners: 1919/20 - runners-up 1924/25 and 1953/54
FA Cup winners / 1887/88, 1891/92, 1930/31, 1953/54, 1967/68
League Cup winners / 1965/66
League: WBA wins 39, drawn 32, SC wins 57
League Cup: WBA wins 0, drawn 0, SC wins 0
FA Cup: WBA wins 3, drawn 2, SC wins 0
Total: WBA wins 42, drawn 34, SC wins 57
THE LAST SIX //
MAR 13 / SC 0-0 WBA
DEC 12 / WBA 0-1 SC
JAN 12 / SC 1-2 WBA
AUG 11 / WBA 0-1 SC
FEB 11 / SC 1-1 WBA
NOV 10 / WBA 0-3 SC
WBA SUMMER TRANSFERS //
Nicolas Anelka (Shanghai Shenhua - free)
Goran Popov (Dynamo Kiev - loan)
Diego Lugano (Paris Saint-Germain - free)
Scott Sinclair (Manchester City - loan)
Morgan Amalfitano (Marseille - loan)
Lee Camp (free agent)
Stephane Sessegnon (Sunderland - undisclosed)
Victor Anichebe (Everton - £6m)
Gonzalo Jara (Nottingham Forest - free)
Jerome Thomas (Crystal Palace - free)
Marc-Antoine Fortune (Wigan Athletic - free)
Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City - £2.25m)
LAST STARTING XI //
(SCFC) - 4-5-1 v Fulham: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Wilson, Ireland, Etherington; Arnautovic.
(WBA) - 4-5-1 v Arsenal (Drew 1-1): Myhill; Jones, Ridgewell, Olsson, McAuley; Sessegnon, Yacob, Mulumbu, Amalfitano, Berahino; Anelka.
DID YOU KNOW //
# West Brom have played at 6 different venues: Coopers Hill, Dartmouth Park, Bunns Field, Four Acres, Stoney Lane and their present home, The Hawthorns.
# The Hawthorns is the highest ground in England, with the altitude a whopping 168 metres above sea level.
# In 1979, the Baggies became the first ever British team to tour China, when they played four matches to promote football in the country.
THE MAN IN CHARGE //
2013/14 Record: 9 games / 55 yellow cards / 0 red cards.
THE country’s most highly regarded referee, Webb, who oversaw the 2010 World Cup Final, will officiate the Potters for the first time this season.
The South Yorkshire based official has taken charge of nine games so far this season, with his most recent match being the World Cup Qualifier between Croatia and Belgium last Friday evening.
He has taken charge of a number of significant fixtures already this season including Porto’s home defeat to Athletico Madrid in the Champions League, as well as Manchester City’s emphatic 4-1 victory against City rivals Manchester United last month.
THIS WEEKEND'S FIXTURES //
Newcastle v Liverpool (12:45) TV
Arsenal v Norwich
Chelsea v Cardiff
Everton v Hull
Manchester United v Southampton
Stoke v West Brom
Swansea v Sunderland
West Ham v Manchester City (17:30) TV
Aston Villa v Tottenham (16:00) TV
Crystal Palace v Fulham (20:00) TV
All kick-offs 15:00 unless otherwise stated.