Football Tips

West Brom vs Southampton Match Preview, Betting Tips and Predictions


The Championship playoffs get underway this weekend and our focus is on West Brom’s clash with Southampton.

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The Playoff Phase

The Baggies finished fifth in the regular season; the Saints finished fourth. All that matters for very little as the lottery of the playoffs gets underway.

Fifth Versus Fourth

Although only two teams can earn automatic promotion out of the EFL Championship, a golden ticket is on offer for the next four finishers and with the season now coming to a finish, we will soon find out the third team to swap English football’s second tier for the first.

Norwich and Leeds are paired together in one semi-final, in what a handful of people are calling the ‘Daniel Farke derby’. West Brom and Southampton meet in the other and although Carlos Corberan’s men finished 12 points behind Russell Martin’s men, that counts for nothing now.

Because now the clock for both teams is reset to zero. The playoffs have arrived, and this means form guides largely go out the window, game plans become slightly harder to implement and holding your nerve becomes more important than ever.

Win this tie and you are off to Wembley. Win at Wembley and you are promised a bundle of riches before another assault at the Premier League. West Brom have been on the outside looking in for three seasons now, Southampton will be looking to bounce back at the first attempt.

Much has been made of the strength of this season’s Championship and for those three teams that do not earn playoff immortality in a few weeks, they will be well placed to have a proper crack at automatic promotion next time around.

For the club that does eventually win promotion to the Premier League, they will have to settle for life being far harder than their last set of sorties in the top flight. The gap between levels one and two of the football pyramid is now looking more like a chasm with each year that passes.

Those concerns will be for the summer, the concerns for both the Baggies and the Saints is how to earn first blood in this two-legged tie. With The Hawthorns serving as the venue for the first leg, West Brom will look to make best use of home advantage.

At the same time, Southampton know that their home advantage is still to come and therefore, the attitude may be more aligned to making sure the tie is still alive before the upcoming trip to St Mary’s. Better that, then being geared up for a South Coast dead rubber instead.

Although the form guides hold little weight before this encounter, West Brom’s last league outing saw them get the better of Preston at The Hawthorns by three goals to nil. Southampton on the same afternoon were putting the last nail in Leeds’ automatic promotion coffin with a 2-1 away win.

But now it is time for the first of my two tips and with the first leg of playoff football having a habit of being cagey at times, I think Southampton fans will have few complaints with a draw on the road. Punters can have few complaints with the draw being priced at 11/5.

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Draw

West Brom vs Southampton Prediction

In addition to this, I am going to go for the cagiest outcome of the lot. This means the 0-0 draw is going to be my pick as both teams spar each other before trying to land the knockout blow at St Mary’s. The goalless encounter can be backed at odds of 17/2.

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0-0 Correct Score

West Brom vs Southampton Prediction

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Dan Tracey

Dan is one of our resident football experts at Freebets, and also the host of our Freebets Odds On Podcast