If someone told you that these two teams would be 9th and 8th in the Premier League right now you would in all fairness tell that someone to go and have a lie down but the table doesn’t lie and today West Brom play host to Watford at The Hawthorns.
Tony Pulis is somewhat lighter in the pocket after losing his court case against Crystal Palace. £3.7m in fact, that is a lot of caps and tracksuits that Pulis is going to have to sell but Today the focus will be on matters on the pitch as The Baggies look to extend their unbeaten run.
That run stands at three matches and with the way that West Brom are playing right now you wouldn’t put it past them making it four. It’s almost as if Pulis has seen the light and not thought about safety first tactics anymore with his side scoring 4 goals on two occasions this season. What makes it more impressive is before this season that feat had never happened.
Last Saturday they only scored the one as they had to make do with a share of the points away at Hull. A game that they probably felt before the game they could have won and were it not for Solomon Rondon wasting a late headed effort then they would have.
Frustrating to draw at The KCom Stadium but there can be few frustrations after the first third of the season. Many had Pulis down to win this season’s sack race but credit where it’s due this West Brom side have been worthy of their top half position so far.
The same can also be said for Watford who sit a point and place above them in the table. Many felt that the appointment of Walter Mazzari was going to be somewhat of a gamble but as it stands it looks like that gamble is paying off.
Sunday saw them gift Stoke all three points at Vicarage Road after a Huerelho Gomes Own Goal, that blunder was the difference in a tight affair and also their first home defeat since August. That home loss also saw them pass up the opportunity to move up to sixth in the table.
And when you write comments like that it makes you think that there is no reason why Watford can’t dream about earning a European place next season. They perhaps need a bit more consistency to really challenge the top six but they are certainly going the right way about establishing themselves as a Premier League outfit.
And when it comes to established Premier League outfits you cannot look much further than West Brom. The model for most clubs in that they suffered some relegations but managed to bounce straight back and then used that experience to gain a real foothold in the top flight.
Both sides will consider a top half finish success come the end of the season and with there not being all that much between the two sides I think it will be a close encounter but I think West Brom will just have the edge this afternoon to leap frog over Watford. Home win for me.