Skip to main content

Premier League Preview: West Brom v Hull

Pulis has built a reputation around having never been relegated as a manager and he defied the odds to keep Crystal Palace up last season.

The Welshman left Palace by mutual consent on the eve of the current campaign, but returned to the top flight to take over as Albion head coach on New Year's Day.

Striker Saido Berahino scored four times as Pulis' tenure started with a 7-0 hammering of Gateshead in the third round of the FA Cup last weekend, but the priority for the Midlands club is to remain in the top flight.

The former Stoke City boss described his new role at Albion as the toughest of his career and he will get a good indication of the job he has taken on when Steve Bruce's side travel to The Hawthorns.

Pulis wasted no time in installing a new backroom staff, with Rob Kelly, Keith Downing and Dean Kiely departing this week and Dave Kemp and Paul Jewell appointed as his assistants.

Seventeenth-placed Albion have lost three of their last four Premier League games and have won just one of their previous 10 in the top flight. 

Alan Irvine was only able to mastermind two home victories in 10 Premier League games before he was sacked last month, but Pulis will be hoping the thrashing of non-League Gateshead will provide momentum for further success at The Hawthorns.

Speculation over Berahino's future persists, with the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool reportedly keen to sign the 21-year-old, but the striker is set to lead the line against Hull a week after his finishing masterclass in the FA Cup.

Albion, who are just one place and a point above the relegation zone, have already beaten Hull 3-2 in the League Cup back in September and another victory on Saturday would move them ahead of Bruce's men in the table.

Hull were dumped out of the FA Cup at Arsenal last Sunday, but two wins in their last three Premier League games have lifted them up to 15th place.

A 3-1 victory at Sunderland on Boxing Day was only their second on the road since their triumph at QPR on the opening day of the season and they beat out-of-sorts Everton at the KC Stadium last time out in the league. 

Nikica Jelavic scored in both of those victories and Bruce will be hoping the Croatia striker recovers from illness in order to face Albion, while defenders James Chester (knee) and Michael Dawson (hamstring) could return.

West Brom will check on the fitness of Jonas Olsson (Achilles) and Craig Gardner (calf). Ben Foster will be expected to replace Boaz Myhill in goal after dropping to the bench against Gateshead.