West Brom v Stoke City – Match Preview
The 3-1 defeat on Wednesday at the hands of Swansea ended a four-match winning streak for West Brom but they remain in fourth spot on the Premier League table ahead of the visit of Stoke.
West Brom captain Chris Brunt claimed the loss was the worst performance by the team this season as they have stunned the English Premier League under new manager Steve Clarke.
“It’s the worst we’ve played all season by a long stretch,” Brunt told West Brom’s website after the game, ”In the second half we dug in and we were a bit better but we didn’t have enough tonight and it’s disappointing because we let ourselves and the supporters down. They’ve come a long way on a Wednesday night and they deserve better from us.”
“We’ll pick ourselves up and we’ve got a home game on Saturday which we need to turn into a positive result after tonight’s performance. We let ourselves down and we definitely let the travelling support down.”
Swansea blitzed West Brom in the first half with Michu’s ninth-minute opener followed two minutes later by a goal from Wayne Routledge.
It was 3-0 in the 39th minute as Routledge struck for the second time and while Romelu Lukaku dragged a goal back in first-half injury time, West Brom could not maintain their fine form.
But having won all but one game at home this season, Clarke’s men will have plenty of confidence they can get back on the winners’ list against Stoke. The Potters have claimed three victories during a four-game unbeaten streak to move up to ninth in the Premier League table.
Having gone behind to a goal from Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse on Wednesday, Stoke recovered late in the match thanks to goals from Jonathan Walters and Cameron Jerome to win 2-1. That result backed up their 1-0 home win over Fulham last weekend.
Peter Crouch lost three teeth after a collision with Fabricio Coloccini in Wednesday’s win and faces dental surgery, meaning he will miss the trip to the Hawthorns.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis could have Andrew Wilkinson and Michael Owen available for selection, however.
For West Brom, Ben Foster and Steven Reid remain unavailable due to injury.
Prediction: West Brom 2 – 1 Stoke City