“They’ll Fancy Themselves” – The Real EFL Pundits Predict West Bromwich Albion Vs Southampton

West Bromwich Albion host Southampton in the first leg of their play-off semi final on Sunday and both will be arriving with some momentum having won their respective final games of the season.

That would in fact be both sides’ first win in some time, having identical recent records, with three losses preceding their final day victories. For the Baggies, a 3-0 win over Preston North End would mean that they’d both make the play-offs as well as end up taking fifth place.

On the other hand, Southampton didn’t have a whole lot to play for, knowing that they couldn’t move any higher or lower in the table based off of their result away at Leeds. They’d however emerge as 2-1 victors, and could well face the Yorkshire side in the play-off final if both were to win their respective semi-finals.

Despite there just being a singular place to separate the two sides, there’s quite the difference in the final standings, with the Saints finishing 12 points ahead of Carlos Corberan’s side. As a result, they’ll be the favourites over the two legs, and certainly possess the firepower.

The meetings between the two sides this season further strengthen the Saints’ case, winning on both outings. However, play-off football is incredibly unpredictable and they can’t be complacent going into the tie.

Here’s how two of The Real EFL’s writing team see the game panning out…

Ivan Newsome

“A win against Leeds on the final day of the season completely changed many Saints fans’ outlook for the play-offs and they’ll fancy themselves over two legs against West Brom.

“I don’t quite think Carlos Corberan has been given enough credit for the job that he has done this season and although his side may have not been in the best of form recently, their achievements, as well as progression, cannot be discounted.

“Home field advantage will aid their cause and they could make this a rather interesting tie if they’re able to take a lead to St Mary’s. They may not win this, but could keep themselves in the tie if able to draw and that’s the way I think the first leg will go.”

West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Southampton

Jamie Ward

“Both teams go into this game in identical form on paper, although Southampton will feel they have the momentum after their excellent win over Leeds last weekend.

“Carlos Corberan has done an excellent job at West Brom and knows the importance of gaining a first leg advantage. However, the Saints have won eight of the last 10 meetings between the two, including both fixtures this season.

“This is a difficult one to predict. Over two legs, Russell Martin’s side should have enough to progress. A draw may set up a tantalising encounter at St Mary’s in the second leg though.”

West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Southampton

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