Formed: 1878 Manager: Tony Pulis Stadium: The Hawthorns Capacity: 26,850 Years in Premier League: 9 Last 3 seasons: 2014-15: 13th 2013-14: 17th 2012-13: 8th Best finish: 8th (2012-13) Opening day fixture: Manchester City (H), Aug 10 Last day fixture: Liverpool (H), May 15
This season’s aim:
Appointed manager on New Year’s Day, Tony Pulis came to the rescue and steadied the ship at West Brom by helping the Baggies stave off relegation and prepare the club for its sixth consecutive Premier League campaign this summer. Much was owed to star striker Saido Berahino who scored nearly half of their goalscoring tally for the entire season in all competitions, with fellow forwards Brown Ideye, Georgios Samaras and Victor Anichebe failing to live up to expectations. But former Crystal Palace and Stoke City boss Pulis has an admiring reputation for achieving so much on small budgets, whilst also boasting a proud record of never being relegated as a manager. In theory, West Brom should be safe ahead of the forthcoming 2015-16 campaign, but the Baggies could do with some more firepower, hence the summer arrival of Rickie Lambert from Liverpool.
James McClean (Wigan Athletic), James Chester (Hull City), Rickie Lambert (Liverpool)
Graham Dorrans (Norwich City), Alex Jones (Birmingham City), Kemar Roofe (Oxford United), Youssouf Mulumbu (Norwich City), Chris Baird (Derby County), Jason Davidson (Released), Alex Palmer (Kidderminster Harriers)
Star Player: Saido Berahino
The 22-year-old forward almost doubled his goalscoring tally for the previous year, scoring 20 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions last season for West Brom. His sequence of shining performances at The Hawthorns have alerted the likes of Premier League rivals Liverpool and Tottenham, although the Baggies will be desperate to keep hold of their prized possession this summer since no other player has reached double figures at the club since Romelu Lukaku’s loan spell from Chelsea back in 2013. Berahino is destined for bigger things after being called up to the England senior side last November, but the Baggies youth graduate would be wise to stay at The Hawthorns and score goals for fun to justify his big money move.
Shoot’s Baggies blogger: Ash Davies
Blogger’s aim: “Twelve months ago we had Alan Irvine, now we have Tony Pulis so I can only state my position ahead of this new season as optimistic! Knowing Albion, we’re pretty good at making the simple stuff hard so I fully expect a tough season with a reasonable outcome. It’s a very tight division these days and a win can propel you 3-4 places but I’ll stick my neck out a little here and state, with some new additions of quality a 12th place finish is very doable, anything lower than 15th would be upsetting. However, for the first time in a while relegation isn’t on my mind, due to the Pulis effect.”
Blogger’s key man: Saido Berahino
Shoot Says: Bottom-half finish