Saturday’s Premier League (PL) action concludes with an early-season relegation battle between the second and third favourites for the drop (ahead of this gameweek). With both sides the only two remaining winless PL teams, and with just two of the last 13 competitive H2Hs ending level (West Brom: W5, D2, L6), something’s surely got to give!
Five games and 603 minutes of play have elapsed since a West Brom player last scored, and subsequently they have never scored fewer (0.67 per match on average), conceded more (2.0) or picked up fewer points than at this stage in any of their previous eight PL campaigns.
In fact you have to go back to 1985/86 to find the last time West Brom failed to win their opening nine league games. They have at least managed to register a goalless first half in three of their four PL home matches (D2, L2), although all seven PL goals they conceded came after HT.
No side has scored fewer goals than Sheffield United’s four so far (0.44 on average) although two were match openers within 15 minutes. Worryingly, the ‘Blades’ are yet to keep a clean sheet this PL campaign, contributing to their joint league-high return of losing ‘to nil’ in 55.56% of their games – level with West Brom.
To the relief of their hosts, Sheffield have scored only once after HT away from home (L4), although the majority of their conceded goals also came beyond the interval. In fact Sheffield have conceded more goals between 61’-75’ (four) than before HT (three).
West Brom have had a miserable return to the Premier League while Sheffield have failed to hit the heights of last season. However, the bookies have given this one to the Blades and odds of 2.85 on Betpay favours them.
Prediction: West Brom 1-2 Sheffield Utd