EPL Season Preview: West Bromwich Albion

The HawthornsCoach: Tony Pulis

2015/16 Finish: 14

2016/17 Preseason Ranking: 16

Sportify Rating: 1492

2015/16 Wagebill: £70M

Stadium Capacity: 26,850 at the Hawthorns (16th largest in EPL)

Departures: Victor Anichebe (released); Josh Ezewele (Yeovil); Kyle Howkins (Mansfield); Callam Jones (Accrington); Anders Lindegaard (Preston); Tyler Roberts (Oxford United); Stephane Sessegnon (released)

Arrivals: Matt Phillips (QPR)

The good: Pragmatism

West Brom are an experienced, well drilled side with a manager who has made a living in the EPL while rarely having the most talented side. Last year said as much. West Brom were the only team in the league that failed to win a game by more than 1 goal, their games averaged only 2.2 goals per game (lowest in the league), but they were never real contenders for relegation as they spent the majority of the season floating between 11th and 14th place.

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The bad: Attack

Rather than drilling down to poor chance creation or finishing, we’re going to label attack – as a whole – a weakness for West Brom. Their 38.9 xG last year was the 5th worst in the EPL, and only 24.7 of that xG was on target (3rd lowest). They scored 34 goals last season (2nd lowest), only scored multiple goals in nine games (2nd fewest), and were shutout 14 times (T-3rd most).

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Bottom line

Unless Matt Phillips adds a spark to the offense, expect another middling season from the Baggies. Unexciting, but effective at staying away from the bottom of the table.