THE Baggies travel to London for the first time this season to take on Martin Jol's Fulham tomorrow (ko 3pm), so our friends over at
take a look at the numbers ahead of the Craven Cottage clash and analyse another Hawthorns new boy.
Steve Clarke has the chance to showcase his great many new signings this weekend, with plenty of exciting, attack-minded players joining late in the transfer window.
At a ground where the home side have lost each of their last five Premier League matches, this will be a great opportunity for them to hit the ground running with their new club.
The Cottagers have conceded 17 goals in those 5 matches - running across the end of last season and the beginning of this - and look like they could well continue to ship goals early on this term.
They have allowed their opponents 64 shots in only three matches this season; a figure at least 16 greater than any other team, and while that has meant no goalkeeper has made more saves this season than Fulham's David Stockdale (14), it also shows that chances are regular for their opposition.
The likes of Victor Anichebe and Stéphane Sessegnon will join Nicolas Anelka and Shane Long in trying to find the Baggies’ first Premier League goals of the season this weekend. Another will be Scott Sinclair, who was at Swansea in 2011/12 when they failed to score in any of their opening four matches but went on to only just miss out on a top half finish, so Albion fans shouldn't be too disheartened by the slow start this campaign.
Sinclair was so impressive that year that he won himself a big-money move to champions Manchester City at the end of the season.
That move didn't quite work out, however, but given sufficient game time, Sinclair proved at Swansea that he is undeniably Premier League quality. With 8 goals and 4 assists he was second in both tallies in the Swansea squad, directly contributing to 30 per cent of their 40 Premier League goals.
A pacey winger who is keen to run at full-backs, Sinclair both dribbled past an opponent 1.7 times per game and was fouled 1.7 times per game as defenders could do little but watch or take to dirty tactics to stop him.
His 86.2 per cent pass accuracy is something to be proud of, and even more so given his advanced position and the resultant crowded areas he occupies. Likely to start against Fulham this weekend, Sinclair has a fantastic record against them, having picked up a goal and two assists in as many meetings in 2011/12.
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All-time results record (League, FA Cup and League Cup)
The Baggies have not won at Fulham in the league since October 1967. Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown and Jeff ‘The King’ Astle scored the goals in a 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage.
Cottagers boss Martin Jol played for Albion between 1982 and 1984, making 67 appearances.
This game will be played on exactly the same weekend as the corresponding fixture last season. Fulham overcame Albion 3-0 on Saturday, September 15, 2012.
Last time out
HOME: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, January 1, 2013, Albion 1 (Lukaku 49) Fulham 2 (Berbatov 39, Kacaniklic 58)
AWAY: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, September 15, 2012, Fulham 3 (Berbatov 32, pen 45, Sidwell 89) Albion 0
Form guide (last six league matches)
Last league match line-ups
ALBION (v Swansea – home L 0-2): Myhill; Jones, McAuley, Olsson (c), Ridgewell; Mulumbu, Morrison (Dorrans HT), Yacob (Rosenberg 75); Long, Anelka, Sinclair (Berahino 75). Subs not used: L Daniels (gk), Lugano, Dawson, Brunt.
FULHAM (v Newcastle – away L 1-0): Stockdale; Riether (Briggs 73), Hughes, Hangeland, Riise; Ruiz, Sidwell (Rodallega 89), Parker, Kacaniklic; Berbatov, Bent (Taarabt 82). Subs not used: Etheridge (gk); Karagounis, Duff, Boateng.
Fulham team news
Martin Jol is hoping to welcome back goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg who suffered a shoulder injury on debut last month. Defender Aaron Hughes is a doubt with a thigh problem which saw him withdraw from Northern Ireland's squad in midweek. Former Baggies loanee Kieran Richardson remains sidelined after picking up a hamstring injury on the opening day.
Lee Probert will referee tomorrow's game. The Wiltshire official last oversaw the Baggies in their 3-2 defeat by Wigan at The Hawthorns in May. He dished out 105 yellow and six red cards in 34 games last term.
Selected odds from Sky Bet:
Fulham to win: 11/10
Albion to win: 5/2
Dimitar Berbatov to score first: 11/2
Nicolas Anelka to score first: 15/2
If you fancy a flutter with the club's official online betting partner, click here.
This game is a complete sell-out. Supporters who do not have a ticket are urged not to travel to the stadium.
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