The FourFourTwo Preview: West Brom vs Sunderland
WEST BROM FORM
- Fulham 1-1 West Brom (Prem)
- West Brom 0-2 Swansea (Prem)
- West Brom 3-0 Newport (LC)
- Everton 0-0 West Brom (Prem)
- West Brom 0-1 So'ton (Prem)
- Sunderland 1-3 Arsenal (Prem)
- Palace 3-1 Sunderland (Prem)
- Sunderland 4-2 MK Dons (LC)
- So'ton 1-1 Sunderland (Prem)
- Sunderland 0-1 Fulham (Prem)
It's hard to know who needs the points more, but it's easy to imagine that a loss for either manager will ratchet up the fearful accusations of inexperience. Although it may be harsh to judge a manager five games into a season, each team's trouble dates back longer than that, and neither of these young bosses can point to a previous occasion on which he has arrested such a slide.
Player to watch: Stephane Sessegnon (WBA)
Frequently either unplayable or unpickable, Sessegnon scored in both Di Canio's wins and then never completed another game for the Italian - sent off at Villa, hauled off in this season's first two games, binned off thereafter, bundled off to The Hawthorns for £5.5m on deadline day and slagged off in the press by his former manager. He will therefore make it his business to destroy Di Canio's day… or so Clarke will hope.
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
- West Brom 2-1 Sunderland (Prem, Feb 13)
- Sunderland 2-4 West Brom (Prem, Nov 12)
- West Brom 4-0 Sunderland (Prem, Feb 12)
- Sunderland 2-2 West Brom (Prem, Sep 11)
- Sunderland 2-3 West Brom (Prem, Apr 11)
Couldn't be more polarised in personality: calm, quiet Caledonian Clarke and "fiery Latin" (attention @FootballCliches) Di Canio. But both are often happy to let the opposition have majority possession - only once in their combined eight matches this term have West Brom or Sunderland seen more of the ball - and both are facing the biggest challenge of their nascent top-flight management careers. It should make for a fascinating day of tactics and touchline decisions.
Facts and figures
- Nicolas Anelka has scored seven in 10 league appearances against Sunderland.
- Steven Fletcher has scored three in four league appearances against West Brom.
- The Baggies have won six and lost none of the last seven league meetings with Sunderland.
- WBA are the only side to started in a 4-4-2 formation in all of their PL fixtures this season. It has brought them a total of only one goal.
- Sunderland have conceded more second-half goals than any other side this season (6).
- Jonas Olsson has made more clearances than any other Premier League player this season (53).
- The Baggies have won none of their last eight league games; they last went on a longer Premier League winless run in April 2009 (11 games).
- West Bromwich Albion have conceded a total of 14 goals in their last six league games at The Hawthorns.
- The Black Cats have scored a total of seven goals in their last nine league games, with six of those matches seeing fewer than three goals netted overall.