The opening match of a double header from the English Premier League on Sunday comes from the Hawthorns where newly promoted West Brom take on former champions Leicester City from 14:00 GMT.
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This will be the first top flight match at this venue involving the sides since March 2018 when the Foxes left with all three points thanks to a stunning 4-1 win. The stats show both teams have scored in six of the last seven renewals and followers hope this one falls into line.
Baggies aim to avoid the drop
Manager Slaven Bilic is back in the Premier League after guiding West Brom to promotion from the Championship earlier this summer. The Baggies spent much of the season vying with Leeds United for top spot and the title but a poor finish to the campaign saw them end as runners up behind the Peacocks. They almost dropped into the playoffs under increasing pressure from Brentford, but fans were relieved to see West Brom hold on to second.
This is an important year for the home club and their aim at this stage will be to avoid relegation at all costs. The board want to avoid dropping straight back down to the second level and have handed Bilic cash in the transfer window to improve his squad. West Brom recently added goalkeeper David Button from Brighton with the newbie signing a two-year deal.
Foxes expected to trouble the top four
Leicester City enjoyed a fantastic 2019/20 campaign and manager Brendan Rodgers will hope for more of the same in the coming season. The Foxes only narrowly missed out on a top four finish and entry back to the Champions League, pipped at the post by Manchester United and Chelsea who were stronger in the closing stages.
No one connected to the club will expect Rodgers to deliver the Premier League trophy back to the King Power Stadium, but they will demand that the Northern Irishman, who arrived from Scottish champions Celtic, improves on a fifth place finish. The visitors are good enough to trouble the top four again but must find the consistency needed to compete at home and in the Europa League. To do that they’ll need a large squad capable of performing two or three times in a week.
West Brom vs Leicester prediction
There will be a buzz around the home team as they make their return to the Premier League, but the absence of fans could suck the energy from the occasion. West Brom aim to avoid an opening day defeat and may see the value in a share of the spoils.
Leicester are eager to lay down a marker and bank three points at the first time of asking but they’ll find the Baggies to be a determined opponent. Rodgers has quality in his attack to create chances and put the home team under serious pressure.
Premier League odds
West Brom are priced at 57/20 in the match winner market with Leicester 21/20. The draw is 13/5.