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Classic opening-day encounters

19 June 2019

We’ve delved into our video archive to find some classic opening-day encounters ahead of the release of next season's fixtures on Thursday.

Albion will learn their first opponents of the 2019/20 season at 9am tomorrow - but here we look back on eight first-week victories, beginning with a Kevin Kilbane thunderbolt in 1997...

Albion 2 Tranmere Rovers 1

August 9, 1997

UK No.1: Men in Black - Will Smith

Albion began the 1997/98 season in scintillating form under Ray Harford. An opening-day triumph over Tranmere set the standard for the Baggies to go unbeaten in their first six fixtures, winning 11 of their first 18 games, before Harford left for Queens Park Rangers in December.  

Goals: Hunt, Kilbane

Starting XI: Miller; McDermott, Nicholson, Sneekes, Mardon, Murphy, Flynn, Butler, Peschisolido, Hunt, Kilbane.

Manager: Ray Harford

2019_06_19 Hartson v Hull.jpg

Albion 2 Hull City 0

August 5, 2006

UK No.1: Hips Don’t Lie - Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean

John Hartson netted twice on his debut as Albion began their pursuit of an immediate Premier League return under Bryan Robson.

Goals: Hartson 2

Starting XI: Zuberbühler; Watson, Robinson, Perry, Wallwork, Davies, Quashie, Greening, Ellington, Hartson, Gera.

Manager: Bryan Robson

Albion 6 Exeter City 3

August 17, 1991

UK No.1: (Everything I do) I do it for you - Bryan Adams

Bobby Gould’s men started the season in style with a 6-3 dismantling of Exeter at The Hawthorns as Albion embraced their first-ever season in the third tier of English football.

Goals: Goodman 2, Foster, Shakespeare 2, Williams

Starting XI: Miller; Bradley, Harbey, Ford, Strodder, Burgess, Bannister, Goodman, Foster, Shakespeare, Ampadu.

Manager: Bobby Gould

2019_06_18 Gera vs Liverpool.jpg

Albion 3 Liverpool 0

August 18, 2012

UK No.1: How We Do (Party) - Rita Ora

Zoltan Gera fired Albion to a memorable first-game victory over Liverpool at The Hawthorns, with Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku also on the scoresheet for Steve Clarke’s men.

Goals: Gera, Odemwingie, Lukaku

Starting XI: Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob, Mulumbu; Gera, Morrison, Odemwingie; Long.

Head Coach: Steve Clarke

Albion 3 Blackpool 1

August 15, 1992

UK No.1: Rhythm is a Dancer - Snap

Ossie Ardiles began his Hawthorns tenure with a 3-1 win on home turf. The Baggies would go on to net a league-high goal tally before beating Port Vale at Wembley to claim promotion. 

Goals: Taylor 2, McNally

Starting XI: Naylor; Fereday, Lilwall, Hunter, Strodder, Shakespeare, Garner, Hamilton, Taylor, McNally, Robson.

Manager: Ossie Ardiles

2019_06_18 Rondon vs Palace.jpg

Crystal Palace 0 Albion 1

August 13, 2016

UK No.1: Cold Water - Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber & MØ

Salomon Rondon headed Albion to an away-day win at Selhurst Park on the first day of the 2016/17 season.

Goals: Rondon

Starting XI: Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Evans; Yacob, Fletcher, Gardner; Phillips, Berahino, Rondon.

Head Coach: Tony Pulis

2019_06_18 Hegazi Bournemouth.jpg

Albion 1 AFC Bournemouth 0

August 12, 2017

UK No.1: Feels - Calvin Harris feat. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry & Big Sean

Ahmed Hegazi scored on debut as Albion began their last Premier League season with a 1-0 win over AFC Bournemouth.

Goals: Hegazi

Starting XI: Foster; Nyom, Dawson, Hegazi, Brunt; Phillips, Livermore, Yacob, Field, McClean; Rodriguez.

Head Coach: Tony Pulis

Albion 1 Charlton Athletic 0

August 12, 1995

UK No.1: Never Forget - Take That

Alan Buckley’s men claimed a 1-0 win over promotion hopefuls Charlton with Dave Gilbert netting the only goal of the game.

Goals: Gilbert

Starting XI: Naylor; Burgess, Edwards, Cunnington, Mardon, Raven, Donovan, Gilbert, Taylor, Hunt, Coldicott.

Manager: Alan Buckley

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