West Brom v Sunderland: Premier League match preview
A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at The Hawthorns
A new season is supposed to bring optimism and positivity, but for these two this match is already looking like a relegation six-pointer.
It may be a bit early to talk in those terms but West Bromwich and Sunderland stayed up last season by the skin of their teeth. Gus Poyet has done the better work over the summer, with Jack Rodwell, Billy Jones and Jordi Gomez adding proven Premier League quality.
For the Baggies, now led by Alan Irvine, Joleon Lescott should shore up their defence, but the £10m spent for Brown Ideye seems like a huge gamble - he only scored 10 goals for Dynamo Kiev last season.
Both of these clubs will want to start with a positive result.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Sunderland 2 (Colback, Borini) West Bromwich 0, Premier League, May 2014
West Bromwich 3 (Sessegnon, Ridgewell, Amalfitano) Sunderland 0, Premier League, September 2013
West Bromwich 2 (Lukaku x 2) Sunderland 1 (Sessegnon), Premier League, February 2013
Sunderland's win at The Hawthorns last season secured their Premier League survival.
West Bromwich have won just three of their last 23 matches at home.
Gus Poyet is the fifth different manager to take charge of Sunderland on the opening day in the last seven years.
West Bromwich to win: 2.2
Sunderland to win: 3.8
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10:30pm.
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