West Brom are awful. They are a lighthouse that is somehow situated in the middle of the table. A massive shining monument to the mediocrity of the premier league.
This season they are basically little more than Middlesbrough plus set piece goals.
Set pieces have long been an inefficiency in football and fair play to the boing boing boring baggies for exploiting this. They currently lead the league with 18 goals from set pieces. Meaning just under 50% of their goals come from dead ball situations. No one else in the premier league comes close to this.
Bad news for the saints then. Puel's men aren't exactly proficient at protecting the box from long balls. Virgil is unbelievable in the air. He has won 75.38% of aerial duels this season. In his absense Yoshida isn't an imposing centre back but alongside him Jack Stephens has really struggled with the aerial game.
Yoshida's has won 60.47% of his aerial duels whilst Stephens is only winning them 34.04% of the time. The Crystal Palace match was a particularly tough match up against a Belgian giant and he won just 11% of his headers.
In Martin Caceres, Puel has an elite centre back sitting on the bench. But this is not the right game to bring him in. He's barely 6 foot and he'll do well to top Stephen's poor aerial percentages. So who else is there then?
It's time for Gardos.
West Brom do not give much away at home and I think they will find a way of winning this game too.
Southampton are another strange side. I thought Bournemouth should have beaten them, then they went and beat Palace in midweek.
1-0 WBA. Banged a few goals in and had our fun, standard let down on the cards?
West Brom are looking pretty handy these days. Drab 1-1 draw but only because the Baggies want it that way.
Dan V: 1-1
1-1 draw to bring us back down to reality
I'll be happy if we only concede two goals from set pieces today.