West Bromwich Albion news, season preview: The 2020-21 Premier League season is almost here and our season previews will give you all of the information you need to know about each of the 20 PL clubs.
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Okay, time to focus on West Bromwich Albion’s renewal of acquaintances with the top flight.
West Bromwich Albion
2019-20 finish: 2nd in Championship (22W-17D-7L, 83 points) – promoted to Premier League
Head coach: Slaven Bilic
2019-20 top scorer: Charlie Austin (11 goals)
Location: West Bromwich, West Midlands
ProSoccerTalk’s key topic on West Bromwich Albion: Matheus Pereira
Look up and down West Brom’s roster and you see a tough group of scrappers. There’s guile. There’s experience. There’s youth and hope.
Then there’s Matheus Pereira.
The Brazilian was dynamite last season as the Baggies earned promotion to the PL thanks in large part to his 8-goal, 16-assist production.
The former Sporting Lisbon man has produced offense on non-powers in both Portugal and the German Bundesliga but the Baggies will need him to be a star this season.
He’s capable but how long will it take him to find his footing in the top flight of top flights? We’ll find out in a hurry, as West Brom opens with Leicester City, Everton, and Chelsea.
West Bromwich Albion news: The current situation
According to most oddsmakers, only Fulham has a higher expectation to be relegated than the Baggies.
That said, the club has a hard-nosed manager in Bilic and some savvy veterans in Matty Phillips and Jake Livermore. The PL won’t be new to several in the bunch, and that’s good.
West Brom is going to have to feast on the teams around it on the table. That means collecting at least four of six points from the Fulhams, Newcastles, and Crystal Palaces of the world.
It’s not more complicated than that.
Key West Bromwich Albion news, season objectives
- Johnstone-wall: Two years removed from his status as a serial Manchester United loanee, Sam Johnstone is coming off a strong season playing all 46 Championship matches at the back for Bilic after playing every match for the Baggies in his first year at the Hawthorns.
- Loanees become key pieces: Pereira, Grady Diangana, Filip Krovinovic, and Callum Robinson all played significant roles in the promotion season and Pereira and Diangana are the only ones back as of press time.
- Stay up: By any means necessary.
- Matheus Pereira (Sporting Lisbon)
- Cedric Kipre (Wigan)
- Grady Diangana (West Ham)
- David Button (Brighton)
ProSoccerTalk’s prediction for West Bromwich Albion in 2020-21
The Baggies’ tough schedule start means it seems likely they’ll be in the bottom half of the table for much of the season. Staying up would be a significant victory but not stunning: Bilic is an experienced hand and there’s enough young promise and veteran savvy to pull off a run to safety. Still, we’re ticketing West Brom for a space just below 17th.Follow @NicholasMendola