Prediction & odds for the game: West Brom (14/5) v Leicester (19/20)
When: Sunday, 13th September @ 2pm K.O
Where: The Hawthorns
West Bromwich Albion will make their Premier League return when they clash with Leicester City this weekend in a West Midlands vs East Midlands clash.
West Bromwich Albion are back in the Premier League after a short stay down in the second tier, and they’ll be joining fellow local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa as the top flight’s representatives for the West Midlands. Slaven Bilic is as unpredictable as they come in the management world and while he’s had his fair share of bad moments at this level, there’s a quiet confidence at the Hawthorns that they could surprise a few people this season.
It’s safe to say that the Baggies didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory to end the Championship season as they completely ran out of steam. They beat Hull and Derby in back-to-back wins at the start of July, but they only went up automatically thanks to Brentford’s inability to catch them as they picked up three draws against Blackburn, Fulham and QPR as well as a surprising loss to Huddersfield.
Going from virtually guaranteed Champions League football to the Europa League is a difficult pill to swallow, even for Leicester City, who nobody expected to be in the top six last season. There’s quite clearly negative energy circulating around the King Power Stadium in the build-up to the new campaign, and the hope from many is that they’ll get their heads down and focus on rediscovering the form that, at one point, had them as Liverpool’s closest challengers in the title race.
The fall of Leicester has been well documented because while they did snatch a draw against Arsenal to go alongside wins against Crystal Palace and Sheffield United, they really let themselves down in the games that mattered. They were humbled 4-1 by Bournemouth on the South Coast before convincingly losing their last two games of the season against Tottenham and Manchester United.
While West Brom are obviously going to be slightly nervous as they re-enter the state of play in the Premier League, we think the same will be true for Leicester. The Foxes were dropping like a stone towards the back end of last season and while Brendan Rodgers has done some great things with the club, we don’t think they’re going to be completely at the races in the Black Country. We’re predicting an uninspiring draw that the Baggies will be far happier with.
It’s not going to be the most electric game of football any of us have ever seen, which is why we’re backing the under 2.5 goals market.
Verdict: Back the draw at odds of 13/5 and the under 2.5 goals scored at odds of 10/11 (All odds are taken from bet365).