Club News

STAT PACK: You can 'count-er' on Baggies

Get the lowdown on Saturday's opener with the Saints (ko 3pm)

THIS season Albion have teamed up with and their statisticians have been crunching the numbers ahead of this weekend’s season opener against Southampton (ko 3pm).

The Baggies will be pleased to not only be starting the new Barclays Premier League season against one of the teams they did the double over last season, but arguably the side against whom they were most convincing.

2-0 and 3-0 victories for Albion in November and April, respectively, contributed six points towards their most impressive Barclays Premier League season to date, and tomorrow the campaign to build on that begins.

In both games, Saints dominated possession by some margin (57% and 62%), but Steve Clarke's side pulled off counter-attacking wins to superb effect, allowing their opponents time on the ball high up the field before hitting them on the break. Only four teams (Arsenal (7), Villa (6), Tottenham (6) and Manchester City (6)) scored more goals on the counter in the Premier League last season than the Baggies (5).

With Claudio Yacob and Youssouf Mulumbu in central midfield, Clarke knows his team have the defensive strength and nous to soak up pressure and then the pace and incisiveness up front to attack at speed. With the addition of Nicolas Anelka this summer, that could be all the more obvious this season.

After a brief hiatus from European football in China, Serie A champions Juventus snapped him up for the second half of last season before his return to the Barclays Premier League with the Baggies. A player who has won just about everything - domestic doubles with both Arsenal and Chelsea, the Champions League with Real Madrid and the European Championship with France to name a few - Anelka brings vast amounts of experience with him to The Hawthorns.

He played four times in Chelsea's successful Champions League campaign in 2011/12, and featured heavily for the side as they won the Barclays Premier League in 2009/10, scoring 11 goals and setting up seven more, and he followed that up with ten more goals and assists in the following league campaign.

The well-travelled Frenchman has scored goals wherever he has gone and at every level. Few players can boast 28 goals in European competition like him, while he also has 69 international caps and 14 goals to his name.

Clearly a player of serious pedigree, Anelka will add much threat to an already dangerous Albion attack - and below are his stats from his last full Barclays Premier League campaign (2010/11).

* is a unique website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. Follow @WhoScored and their editor-in-chief @alitweedale on Twitter.

All-time results record (League, FA Cup and League Cup)











































Interesting facts

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino played with Nicolas Anelka at Paris Saint Germain between February 2001 and June 2002.

The Baggies have never played a team who finished below them the previous season in their opening game of a Premier League campaign. Past opening-day clashes include Liverpool, Manchester United twice, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Blackburn.   

Today’s game sees Albion begin their fourth successive Barclays Premier League campaign – their longest stretch in the top-flight since a ten-season run between 1976/77 and 1985/86. 

Last time out

HOME: Barclays Premier League, Monday, November 5, 2012 - Albion 2 (Odemwingie 36, 60) Southampton 0 

AWAY: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, April 27, 2013 – Southampton 0 Albion 3 (Fortune 6, Lukaku 67, Long 77)

Form guide (last six league matches)


Last league match line-ups

ALBION (v Man Utd – home D 5-5): Foster; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell (Lukaku HT); Yacob, Mulumbu; Dorrans, Morrison (Fortune 79), Brunt; Long (Rosenberg 79). Subs not used: Myhill (gk), Dawson, Tamas, Popov.

SOUTHAMPTON (v Stoke – home D 1-1): K Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork (Mayuka 82), S. Davis (Ward-Prowse 75), Rodriguez, Lallana (Puncheon 64), Lambert. Subs (not used): Gazzaniga (gk), Yoshida, Chambers, Isgrove

Southampton team news

Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw have trained this week, with Mauricio Pochettino hopeful of having them involved. Clyne has been out for the last three weeks, while Shaw picked up a knee injury during last Saturday's friendly win over Real Sociedad. 
Ref watch

Kevin Friend will referee Saturday’s game. The Leicestershire official oversaw Albion's defeats by Stoke, Reading and Chelsea last term. He dished out 120 yellow and three red cards in 34 games last season. 


Selected odds from Baggies concourse betting partner Bwin: 

Albion to win: 5/4
Southampton to win: 43/20
Draw: 9/4


Tickets for this game remain on general sale. Seats for this category B fixture are priced £25 adults, £20 seniors, £15 under-21s/students and £10 under-17s. 

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