Fans of mid table football are going to be in for a treat this afternoon as West Brom play host to Southampton. In fairness that is probably a bit harsh what with their league positions of eighth and ninth in the table and with both sides safe from the drop it should make for an interesting encounter at The Hawthorns.
Tony Pulis’ West Brom side seemed to have been perennially in eighth place but that is testament to how well the club have performed over the last few months. After an impressive win over Arsenal which was followed up by a hard earned draw over Manchester United there would have been some disappointment after defeat in midweek.
The Baggies came away from Vicarage Road empty handed on Tuesday as they lost 2-0 to Watford and they will not only look to bounce back but also look to solidify their current league placing as Today’s opponents Southampton will look to erode the gap and continue their climb up the table.
Southampton may well be 7 points behind West Brom but they do have the additional caveat of two games in hand, a win today and they could well end up eventually surpassing them. To be honest the difference between eighth and ninth is much of a muchness as neither will pay out a European place come the end of the season.
But should both teams secure a top half finish then you would have to say it’s a job well done, arguably more so for West Brom but that would not to be taking anything away from Claude Puel in what is his first season in charge of the club.
There may be little difference between the two clubs but there is certainly a difference between getting three points on the board and that is something that Southampton will easily attest to after their win over Crystal Palace in midweek.
They went into that game in 13th and were perhaps just looking nervously over their shoulder at the teams below them, but thankfully they were not dragged into a relegation battle as Maya Yoshida’s late winner saw them surge up the table.
It just goes to show how congested the table is between Southampton in 9th and Crystal Palace in 16th. Just six points separate the eight clubs and it just goes to show the difference a win or two can make in regards to a clubs outlook for the last few games of the campaign.
It would be remiss to say there is nothing to play for Today but at the same time there is not a lot riding on it either. Hopefully that means both teams are prepared to give it a go and play with the freedom that their league placing should allow.
Due to the close proximity that these two sides have their is very little to split them and for that reason I have a feeling that this one will end up as a draw. It’s not quite the end of season party atmosphere but it’s very nearly there, a share of the points for me.