On the back of the latest international break, Albion face a trip to league leaders Chelsea this weekend and once again football stats website WhoScored.com
are here to preview the clash.
Defeat to Newcastle a fortnight ago was something of an anomaly in what has been a decent spell of form for the Baggies.
Only Liverpool had managed to beat Albion in any of their previous six Barclays Premier League matches and, despite this weekend’s opponents Chelsea flying high at the top of the table, Albion should carry hope of pulling off an upset.
The Baggies were within seconds of winning at Stamford Bridge in this fixture almost exactly a year ago, only to be denied by a last-gasp Eden Hazard penalty.
Having that day gone behind to the team who eventually finished second in the table, Albion showed a plenty of fight and belief to turn the game on its head and come within seconds of triumph.
Given that the Blues lost only one and drew three of their 19 home Premier League matches last season, Albion’s efforts were even more praiseworthy.
In fact, Albion have become a bit of a bogey team for Chelsea of late.
The Londoners have won only one of their last five games against the Baggies, while they have sacked two managers in recent years on the back of defeats at The Hawthorns.
Chelsea remain favourites this weekend but Albion certainly have a chance of coming away with something from the game.
With the home side likely to control proceedings, centre-back Craig Dawson’s input could be vital.
The towering defender has been imperious this season, attaining an average rating of 7.16 in WhoScored.com’s statistically calculated ranking system.
That puts him behind only Craig Gardner when it comes to all players in Alan Irvine’s squad.
To give that some perspective among other defenders, Dawson’s rating puts him above the likes of Phil Jagielka (7.11), Vincent Kompany (7.05), Laurent Koscielny (7.02) and Gary Cahill (6.95).
Only six Premier League teams have conceded fewer goals this season than Irvine’s men (13), and Dawson has played a huge part in that.
With strengths of ‘blocking the ball’ and ‘interceptions’ assigned to him by the football stats website’s algorithms, he clearly reads the game exceptionally well and that is a huge asset to his fellow defenders.
He ranks among the top-ten centre-backs for interceptions in the Premier League this season and will have stopped countless attempts on Ben Foster’s goal as a result.
At 6’2”, Dawson will also be a threat when Albion do get chances going forwards.
Having already contributed one goal this season – in the 4-0 trouncing of Burnley – Dawson could be key at both ends on Saturday.