It is now 20 Premier League matches since West Brom last earned a victory, you must cast your mind back to last August for the last time the Baggies picked up all three points. That win came at Turf Moor when a certain Tony Pulis was still in charge of the club.
Unfortunately for West Brom a change of manager has not given the club a change of fortunes as Alan Pardew has failed to give the club the immediate lift that a new appointment usually does, that means that the club go into this game lying 19th in the table and four points from safety.
Since being installed by the West Midlands outfit, Alan Pardew’s league record is played eight, won none, drawn four and lost four. People with their glass half full will say that he has not lost half of those while those with a more pessimistic persuasion will say that he has failed to win all eight.
In the midst of those eight games there are some creditable draws against Liverpool and the one against Arsenal to see out the end of 2017 but that all important win still eludes them and the longer this unwanted streak goes on then the higher the chances of them being cast adrift at the foot of the table.
They failed to build on the draw against Arsenal after losing what I guess was a six pointer at West Ham just two days later, Alan Pardew would go on to complain about the fact that his side had to play twice in 48 hours but they were not the only side who had to deal with the tight turnaround over the Christmas period.
There has been a slight glimmer of light in what has been a bleak mid-winter, that being the F.A. Cup win over Exeter last weekend. Although it is not a league win, it is at least a win and the hope will be that they can now use that to build some positive momentum.
Today they play host to a Brighton side who have failed to win any of their last three league outings but they do sit in the relative sanctuary of 12th in the table, I say relative because there is only three points separating them and Stoke in 18th at present.
This just highlights how tough it is in the bottom half of the table at the moment and although the Seagulls have been keeping their head above water as of late, they cannot allow themselves to get sucked into a relegation battle and will look to keep that distance between them and the bottom three.
Their form may well have stuttered in the league but they do come into this game like West Brom off the back of a F.A. Cup third round win. Chris Hughton’s men managed to get the better of arch rivals Crystal Palace thanks to Glenn Murray’s late winner.
It did not perhaps have the needle that Brighton vs Crystal Palace matches have had in the past but any win over your enemy is always one that will be celebrated and again like West Brom, Brighton will look to harness that cup momentum into today
Both teams have struggled for goals this season and today will pit the second and third lowest goalscorers in the division together, so that would indicate that there will not be a flurry of goalmouth activity this afternoon at The Hawthorns.
But I have a sneaky feeling that today might well be the day where West Brom fans are reminded what it is like to win in the Premier League win, quite simply it has to happen today because if it does not then they will be in serious trouble. I’ll go for a slender home win this afternoon.