Official Boothen Roar Match Preview: West Brom v Stoke City
Feature by Dan Buxton
Updated Saturday, 27th August 2011
A look ahead to the Potters trip to West Bromwich to take on 'The Albion'
The Potters travel to The Hawthorns on Sunday looking to get their opening league win of the season after four European victories so far.
Stoke finished last campaign in 13th place, whilst West Brom finished the season brilliantly to end up 11th, with a point more than the Potters. City have had two draws in the league so far whereas West Brom have lost both games 2-1.
Stoke have already beaten Hajduk Split and FC Thun on their travels this campaign but last term only beat West Brom, Blackburn and Newcastle away from home in the league and lost 13 times aswell with all those victories came before Christmas. West Brom have so far lost 2-1 at home to Manchester United but last season had 8 wins and 5 defeats in home league games.
The sides have met 68 times in Norwich, with 32 home wins, 21 Potters victories and 13 draws. The last meeting at West Brom, saw Stoke run out 3-0 winners. The Potters have a fine recent record against the Baggies and have a record of 19 wins, 8 draws and just a single defeat in the last 28 league encounters. In the 130 matches between these sides, the Potters have won 56, Albion 41 times and thirty three have been drawn.
The referee is Mike Dean. He didn't ref Stoke last season, his last Potters game being March 2010, when he reffed the 2-1 defeat at home to Spurs. That season he refereed five Stoke games and sent off three Stoke players, all controversially. A letter of complaint was sent by Tony Pulis to the FA and he has been kept away from Stoke games since. He refereed West Brom four times last season, in their 3-1 home win against Newcastle, 1-1 draw at home to Wolves, 3-1 defeat at Wolves and 2-2 draw at West Ham.
The Met Office report that there will be sunny intervals, temperatures of 16 degrees celsius, very good visibility but a weak 12mph wind.
Prediction: The Potters start compact and hold firm against some good Baggies passing before growing as the game goes on, with Etherington pouncing late on to secure the points.