Two candidates to fight for promotion this term, Bournemouth and West Brom, will clash on Friday, August 8, at Vitality Stadium in the opening round of the 2021/22 EFL Championship season. Bournemouth will play host to West Brom, who they last met in July 2019 in a friendly match, which ended in a draw.
Bournemouth vs West Brom
When: Friday, August 6 – 19:45 BST
Where: Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, England
Weather: Mostly Couldy, 18°C
Referee: Darren Bond (ENG)
Bournemouth and West Brom enter the new EFL Championships season as two favourites to earn a promotion into the Premier League. West Brom are priced as the second favourites at 7.50 (Bet365), while Bournemouth are at 10.00 (Bet365) as they enter the 2021/22 season as the fourth favourites to climb their way back into the English top-flight for the first time since the 2019/20 season.
As the newly relegated side, West Brom will have the same goal in mind and a solid chance to achieve it – as we have covered in our EFL Championship season preview. However, with a strong group of teams who are all fighting for a top-three finish, West Brom will have to get their wheels spinning early and deliver against Scott Parker’s side on Friday.
Bournemouth’s Long Injury List
The Cherries enter their EFL Championship opener without a few key men. Scott Parker will not be able to count on Jefferson Larma due to suspension and Ben Pearson, who is out due to an illness.
What’s more, Jack Stacey is doubtful; Steve Cook, Lewis Cook, and Arnaut Danjuma are all injured, while Leif Davis won’t be ready in time to make his debut on Friday.
On a more positive, Chris Mepham should be available, but that doesn’t fix Bournemouth’s problems. With five players unavailable, Parker will need to find a way to fill in the gaps, as he is out of a good portion of his 21-man lineup.
Despite their long injury list, Bournemouth will be able to count on their key players in David Brooks and Dominic Solanke to lead the line. The two have quickly proven their worth, having contributed three goals between them in Bournemouth’s 5-0 thrashing of MK Dons in the EFL Cup.
Solanke scored once, while Brooks produced two goals on the day. The remaining two were the work of Philip Billing and Christian Saydee, who are expected to start today.
Valerien Ismael Looking For A Strong Start
West Brom acquired former Barnsley coach Valerien Ismael as their new manager for this term, which should bolster their chances to re-enter the Premier League for the 2022/23 season. Ismael has had a phenomenal season at the helm of the Colliers, who he led to a fifth-place finish last term.
Ismael is expected to have his full squad ready for his debut as there were are no confirmed absentees. However, it’s worth noting that Quevin Castro and Adam Reach likely won’t feature today. Similarly, Taylor Gardner-Hickman is doubtful to start.
Filling in in the midfield for the Baggies will be Alex Mowatt, who Ismael brought with him from Barnsley. Joining him will be Matt Phillips, Grady Diangana, and Karlan Grant.
It’s still unclear who will West Brom field in the goal, however. Sam Johnstone is still with the team,but it remains to be seen whether he’ll start. Matheus Pereira could miss out on this match as he nears a deal with Al Hilal.
Bournemouth vs West Brom Betting Picks
Bournemouth and West Brom last met in a friendly match in July 2019, when the two sides parted ways with a 0-0 statemate. Before that, they met in Match 2018 in the Premier League, when Bournemouth won 2-1 at home but lost their previous meeting in August 2017 with 0-1 on the road.
Since then, a lot of time has passed, so we shouldn’t put too much weight on those results, especially with all the changes the teams have made over the last two years. As two of the strongest EF Championship teams, West Brom and Bournemouth will be eager to start the season with all three points.
While Bournemouth should enjoy some advantage at Vitality Stadium, we don’t expect a one-sided affair, but instead an exciting match with plenty of goals on display.
Prediction: Over 2.50 Goals – 2.02 at Sportmarket
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