West Bromwich Albion just barely made it out of the drop zone, but can still be relegated if Norwich manage 17 goals against Arsenal, which will be nothing sort of impossible. Pepe Mel can pick a team who surely be happy to just play football before they prepare for next season. The manager will probably rest a few players who played in midweek’s defeat to Sunderland, with Diego Lugano, Steven Reid, James Morrison, and Victor Anichebe looking to be the ones sacrificed. In their place Billy Jones, Jonas Olsson, Morgan Amalfitano, and Saido Berahino could be the ones making the start in what can be seen as a cheerful home finale to close this years campaign.
Stoke City (4-2-3-1): Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Muniesa, N’Zonzi, Whelen, Odemwingie, Ireland, Arnautovic, Crouch
Mid-table team Stoke City looks to capitalize from their recent 4-1 win over Fulham last week with a final day victory against West Brom. Although nothing is at stake, Mark Hughes will want to keep his teams morale on a high as he looks to make a few changes to the side that played at the weekend. In defence, Erik Pieters could be replaced by Ryan Shawcross who didn’t play a part in their previous fixture. Peter Crouch could make his way back into the first team after being rested as Oussama Assaidi should be the one to make way. Peter Odemwingie will be deployed on the wings as Crouch will be used as their lone target man up top. Stoke only has Robert Huth unavailable with the big German still out with a knee injury.
Norwich can avoid relegation if they beat Arsenal by at least 17 goals, and also Stoke must beat West Brom.
— Gooner Updates (@GoonerUpdates) May 8, 2014
Wish I could go to west brom v stoke on Saturday
— OscarRaven (@oscarraven99) May 8, 2014
@jaythom93 can’t decide between West brom and Stoke
— Sean Keane (@seankeane93) May 8, 2014
Graham Dorrans scored a 90th minute goal when the two teams met last season registering West Brom’s first win over Stoke City since 2003 with a 2-1 scoreline. Watch a Baggies fan go crazy.
Peter Crouch has always been a menace in his opponent’s penalty box and this match up will be no different. Even though the tall striker has 7 goals, he also managed an additional 6 assist, showing that he is bound to cause problems for the West Brom back line.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Stoke City: An Alternative Preview
There have been just 13 goals scored in the nine Barclays Premier League meetings between these two sides.
Stoke have kept a clean sheet in seven of their previous nine Barclays Premier League games against West Brom.
Stoke City have never won on the final day of the Premier League season (D2 L3).
West Brom have drawn four and lost one of their last five Premier League games played on the final day of the season.
Stoke need a point to make this season their outright best in terms of points (currently 47, tied with 2009-10).
Stoke have averaged 401 passes per game this season under Mark Hughes – the highest average that they managed under Tony Pulis was 323 per game in 2012-13.
West Brom have not won any of their last 12 Premier League games played on a Sunday (L6 D6).
There have been 22 goals in the last four Premier League games played on a Sunday involving Stoke City (5.5 per game).
The Baggies have conceded a league-high 58% of goals in the first half of games this season.
Stoke City have scored just two headed goals all season in the Premier League, fewer than any other side.