West Brom-Wolverhampton Preview

·3 min read

Wolves and West Brom meet in the Premier League for the first time since 2012 on Saturday, with both squads relishing a Black Country derby.

Struggling West Brom – who are yet to win under Sam Allardyce and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Blackpool Town last time out – travel to Molineaux in the early kick-off.

West Brom won 5-1 in the last such meeting, in February 2012, though the Baggies have just eight points heading into this fixture, while Wolves lost 2-1 at home to Everton on Tuesday.

Though West Brom have lost all but one of the league games he has overseen since replacing Slaven Bilic, Allardyce fully understands the importance of clinging the bragging rights over Wolves.

"I'm a local lad and this is a Black Country derby. It's a great thing to be competing against Wolves on Saturday. Our players will be looking forward to the game and they will give everything they've got," he said. "We're absolutely desperate to get a win under our belt. There would be nothing better than for the lads to go out and show what they can do against their local rivals and come away with a victory."

Wolves captain Conor Coady, meanwhile, is relishing his first taste of a Black Country derby.

"We've been looking forward to it for years, we've just not had a chance to play in it. It's a game you want to play in when you join the club," Coady told Wolves' official website. "It's just a shame we've got to do it in front of an empty stadium, that's the worst thing about it, that's the massive negative, but in terms of stature of game, we know all about it and can't wait for it."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Wolves – Pedro Neto

Neto created four chances against Everton – the Portuguese forward has created the most chances in the Premier League for Wolves this season (32) and has the most league-wide of any player younger than 21.

West Brom – Robert Snodgrass

Allardyce drafted in Snodgrass from West Ham to try and help the Baggies push for survival, and the midfielder could be in line to make his debut at Molineaux. His set-piece delivery and crossing ability should be a real asset for West Brom.

KEY OPTA FACTS

• West Brom manager Allardyce has faced Wolves more often without losing than any other side in the Premier League (P5 W3 D2), with this his first meeting against them since a 3-0 win in December 2010 with Blackburn.

• Ruben Neves has scored in each of his last two Premier League appearances for Wolves (two goals), scoring as many as in his previous 57 in the competition. Only four Portuguese players have scored in three consecutive Premier League appearances – Cristiano Ronaldo (seven times), Luis Boa Morte, Raul Meireles and Bruno Fernandes (three times).

• Wolves have won each of their last six home Premier League games against teams starting the day in the relegation zone without conceding a single goal, since losing 2-0 to Huddersfield Town in November 2018.

• After netting five goals in their first three league games this season, West Brom have netted just six in their last 14, and never more than once in a match in that time.

• Wolves have lost eight of their 18 Premier League games this season (W6 D4), only one fewer than they lost in the entirety of last season (W15 D14 L9). Wolves' eighth defeat in 2019/20 wasn't until their 34th game of the season.