Southampton vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: Mid-table battle to end 2016

Southampton vs West Bromwich Albion Preview: Mid-table battle to end 2016

It is a battle of eighth against ninth, as West Bromwich Albion travel to St. Mary's in their final fixture of the year.

Aaron Stokes

Southampton look to end the year on a high, as they meet West Bromwich Albion on New Years Eve.

Both clubs will looking to bounce back after falling to defeats against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the last seven days.

Recent form

As mentioned, both sides come into this fixture on the back of a defeat, but before the last matchday both teams were fairing well in what has been a congested festive period for Premier League sides.

Southampton were on a run of four games without defeat before they were swept aside by Tottenham, in the 4-1 defeat earlier this week. However, despite the stretch of unbeaten games, Saints fans are still reeling from their shock Europa League exit at the start of the month.

Tony Pulis' Baggies have lost their two games, both to opposition fighting for the top four spots. However, what will please West Brom fans is that they have taken 13 points from a possible 15, in their last five games against sides currently languishing in the bottom half. That is the type of form that will see West Brom finishing close, if not in the top half come May. 

Team news

Southampton will be without the suspended Nathan Redmond, who was shown a straight red card for appearing to pull down Spurs' Dele Alli in the penalty area earlier this week. Jordy Clasie is a doubt but may be fit to make the bench.

Tony Pulis almost boats a clean bill of health but admitted this week he has "one or two" ahead of tomorrow's clash. Sebastian Pocognoli is still out and Saido Berahino has a knock. Salomon Rondon is likely to continue as the out and out striker, with three midfielders behind him for support. 

James McLean may be in for a start after putting pen to paper on a new contract earlier this morning.

History of the meeting

West Brom have only tasted victory against tomorrow's opponents once in the last six meetings between the pair. The stats don't get much better for the away side if you go even further back either. Since the turn of the century, the sides have clashed 16 times, with West Brom winning only four.

Southampton have kept five clean sheets in their last six games with Pulis' men, only conceding a solitary goal in that time. 

The last time these two sides met in December was back in 1982, with Southampton coming out on top by four goals to one.