Premier League Preview: West Brom vs. Burnley

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This is the first-ever Premier League meeting between these founder members of the Football League – they first met in 1888.

• The Baggies have scored just one goal in their last four league games, and just three in total in this season’s Premier League.

• Burnley have conceded just three goals this season – only Southampton have conceded fewer among top-flight clubs. The Clarets’ clean sheet at Crystal Palace last weekend was the first they have ever recorded away from home in the Premier League. (BBC Sport)

West Bromwich Albion will play host to Burnley at The Hawthorns tomorrow at 11 a.m. ET, the live coverage available on NBCSN, or online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Following a start to their Premier League season that saw them accumulated two draw and two feats, the Baggies snatched their first PL win of the season last week on the road against Tottenham Hotspur.  On Wednesday night, West Brom enjoyed success in a short-term fashion, with striker Saido Berahino and Gareth McAuley netting two goals within minutes of each other to grab an 3-2 win over Hull City. Berahino has been the most dangerous attacker for Alan Irvine this year, and he could be essential to overcome a stiff defensive effort from Burnley.

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The Clarets have failed to count a win in the Premier League this season, succumbing to three draws and two losses, which puts them in relegation at 19th place. Burnley past three games have all resulted in 0-0 draws, as they faced the likes Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Manchester United. However, Swansea and Chelsea handed Sean Dyche’s side two straight losses at the beginning of the season, and Burnley have only scored one goal in all league competitions.

What they’re saying

West Brom boss Alan Irvine on keeping faith in squad’s ability (Sports Mole):It’s important you protect the players, no-one wants to play badly and sometimes things go wrong and players make mistakes. We have to live with that. We are there to support them when they make those mistakes and it’s a vitally important part of the role.You have to pick them back up again, it’s part of the role to protect players different times. You have different conversations in private than you do in public.”

Midfielder David Jones on Burnley’s goal drought (Sportal): “Obviously we’re aware that we need to score goals but it’s not something we’re going to dwell on. We’ve created chances, we’ve been organized, we’ve limited chances for the opposition and there are a lot of positives to take.Three clean sheets on the bounce in the Premier League shows that we’ve got a good foundation. We’ve just been unfortunate. With a bit more confidence and cutting edge in front of goal we’ll be doing well.”

Player absences/injuries

West Brom’s $16.24 million signing Brown Ideye limped off the pitch in the Baggies League Cup win over Hull City this week, but he should be able to perform for his club in this match, likely off the bench. Victor Anichebe had to undergo a hernia procedure, and he’s still coping with that healing process. Chris Baird’s illness has him doubtful for the game as well.

David Jones of Burnley could sit out with a calf injury, along with Kieran Trippier (groin) and Dean Marney (hamstring). Danny Ings’ recovery has gone well so far despite his unavailability for this match. Matt Taylor (Achilles) and Sam Vokes (knee) will also rest.

Prediction

If you have confidence that Alan Irvine and his squad will string wins together after two consecutive victories, then it would make sense to pick West Brom in this matchup. Also, Burnley needs to find scoring form fast, and with a host of injuries, most notably Danny Ings, we just don’t know when they will break through. West Brom, 1-0.