This New Years day lunchtime sees a match between West Brom and Fulham. The game takes place at the Hawthorns and kicks off at 1245 GMT.
West Brom have so far exceeded all expectations this season and amazingly after 20 matches they find themselves within touching distance of a top four spot.
Manager Steve Clarke can be more than satisfied with his first year in charge and there is every possibility that they can keep up this good form and improve on last season’s 10th place finish.
At the end of November West Brom went through a bit of a mini crisis losing three games on the bounce but they have recovered nicely drawing with West Ham and beating Norwich at the Hawthorns whilst beating QPR at Loftus Road. Saturday’s game against Manchester United saw the inevitable loss
West Broms home form to teams of Fulhams grading reads won four, drawn one and lost five. However they do have a very good head-to-head record at the Hawthorns which reads won two, drawn one and lost none. And indeed you have to go back to 2000 to find the last time Fulham registered a victory at the Hawthorns and that was in the Championship.
West Brom can be backed at 2.05 and this is priced about right
The draw can be backed at around 3.60 and although this should certainly not be disregarded it offers little appeal given West Broms home form which has only seen two draws in 15 matches.
Fulham are going through a slightly rocky patch at the moment having only won one game in 12 matches and the goals look as though they have dried up away from home with the Cottagers only finding the net once in four away games.
Fulham can be backed at around 4.00 and again this looks priced about right and if you do fancy them to do well here then I would certainly suggest keeping the draw on your side and Fulham can be backed at around 1.91 +0.5 goals on the Asian Handicap and this looks a reasonable option given both sides recent form against similar opposition.
As far as goals are concerned then we have some mixed stats here with West Brom seeing three or more goals in seven of their last 10 at home to teams of Fulhams stature whereas in the case of Fulham this has only been seen in four of their last ten away games. Historically this fixture is not a goal fest at the Hawthorns and four of the last five head-to-heads have seen two or less goals.
In summary history suggests this will not be easy for Fulham and although West Brom have certainly had the better of things in recent matches I would certainly not rule out the draw. I think the best option is again to side with history and back the Under 2.5 goals at around 2.04 in what could be a very tight affair.