West Bromwich Albion vs Stoke City Preview: Baggies seek winning triple

West Bromwich Albion vs Stoke City Preview: Baggies seek winning triple

Match preview of the Premier League clash between West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City at The Hawthorns on Sunday afternoon.

neil-leverett
Neil Leverett

West Bromwich Albion go in search of their third Premier League win on the bounce on Sunday, as Stoke City roll up to The Hawthorns.

After winning both opening games in the top-flight for the first time since 1978, the Baggies welcome Mark Hughes' side to the West Midlands aiming to remain in the top three in the league standings ahead of the first international break of the season.

The Potters themselves come into the weekend's game on the back of a first win versus Arsenal in three years, as Jesé Rodriguez scored on his debut.

Bouyant Baggies

For the hosts, the league table makes for pleasant viewing after two games. After successive 1-0 wins versus AFC Bournemouth and Burnley respectively, Tony Pulis' men find themselves in their lofty perch of third spot.

For Pulis, a goal and a clean sheet in both games represents a successful start to the campaign, despite being in its embroyonic stages.

After Gareth Barry made his Baggies debut during West Brom's win last weekend at Turf Moor, the club have further boosted their attacking ranks after West Brom completed the club-record signing of winger Oliver Burke from RB Leipzig on Friday.

Visitors seek successive wins

Stoke continued their impressive record versus Arsenal last weekend at the Bet365, despite the win being only the first against the Gunners in three years.

Rodriguez, on loan from PSG, made the perfect start to life in English football, as the Spaniard's incisive run saw the former Real Madrid attacker slot past Petr Cech minutes into the second half.

In truth, Hughes' men were fortunate to hold out against Arséné Wenger's men - with two or three dubious refereeing decisions going in their favour.

Nevertheless, the Potters defence held strong as the new-look trio of Kurt Zouma, Ryan Shawcross and substitute Bruno Martins-Indi were stubborn in their resistance.

Having lost their opening day contest away to Everton, Stoke will be keen to reverse the result or at least take a point back to Staffordshire this Sunday, in what is likely to be another tight affair.

Hosts unbeaten versus Stoke in five

The weekend's meeting will be the fifteenth between the sides in the Premier League, as Pulis welcomes his former employers to the West Midlands once more.

His record is unblemished against the Potters, as is West Brom's. In the last five games between the two, the Baggies remain unbeaten, having won four and drawing the other.

When last the duo met back in February, James Morrison's sixth minute goal was enough to take the spoils, as the hosts produced a typically dogged second-half display.

Team News

Stoke are sweating on the fitness of Xherdan Shaqiri, after the midfielder sustained a hamstring injury versus Arsenal last weekend, with the Swiss limping off. Ibrahim Afellay will once again miss out however, with a knee injury.

The visitors' only other absentee is Stephen Ireland, who has a broken leg.

West Brom could be without skipper Jonny Evans, who continues to be linked with a move away from the club. The Northern Ireland defender continues to struggle with a hamstring complaint, as does midfielder Claudio Yacob, with the Argentine set for a late fitness test.

Gareth McAuley is a continued absentee for Pulis, however the veteran centre-back could return after the international break.

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