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Premier League Preview: West Brom v Stoke City

9 May 2014 13:26

Stoke City need just a draw against West Brom at The Hawthorns on Sunday to secure a club record Premier League points tally.

In what has been an impressive debut campaign for manager Mark Hughes at the Britannia Stadium, Stoke are all but guaranteed their highest Premier League finish of 10th.

Even if former boss Tony Pulis can continue his fine work at Crystal Palace and claim a win at already relegated Fulham, Stoke's superior goal difference will likely keep them in the top half regardless of their result against West Brom.

A point, however, will move the visitors beyond the landmark of 47, which they set in 2009-10 and have equalled this term. Only a win will give them a chance of finishing ninth, above Newcastle United.

Goal difference is also on the hosts' side this weekend as it looks set to keep them in the top flight despite a torrid season.

While Norwich City may be within three points of Pepe Mel's side, West Brom are 17 goals better off and can be confident of preserving their place among the elite.

West Brom will be relieved to have secured safety ahead of this final-day showdown, not least of all because Stoke boast a 100 per cent record at The Hawthorns in the Premier League.

Even in the second tier, Stoke took four points from their last two Championship trips to West Brom and striker Peter Odemwingie is eager to help continue that form when he returns to his old club for the first time since leaving in August.

"I am looking forward to returning, but my main aim will be to help Stoke City get the win," he told Stoke's official website.

"We can get ninth position and that's what we will want to achieve.

"I'm proud to be a part of what is potentially a record-breaking Stoke City side and, as players, we want to beat as many records as possible."

While Stoke can bask in the glow of a job well done following a strong campaign, Mel and his West Brom side will be eager to draw a line under the season.

Mel's men have stuttered to safety thanks to four points from their last five games and were able to breathe a little easier after Norwich failed to produce what would have been a shock win at Chelsea last Sunday.

But Mel is keen to end the season with a victory - something that his side have managed only three times in the league during his tenure.

The Spaniard, who acknowledges that his future at the club is uncertain despite achieving safety, claims that the visit of Stoke is their "biggest test".

"We need to win the last game so people go away happy and the final image we give of West Brom is the best possible one," he explained.

"This is why Sunday really is the biggest test so we can all go home happy."

Defender Jonas Olsson could return to West Brom's starting XI after his recurring Achilles problem limited him to the bench against Sunderland on Wednesday while Hughes' only absentee is centre-back Robert Huth (knee).

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Info

Competition
Premier League
Date
11 May 2014
Game week
38
Kick-off
16:00
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
1 - 2
Venue
The Hawthorns (West Bromwich)
Attendance
26613

Goals

0 - 1
22' G. McAuley (OG)
S. Sessègnon 56'
(assist by C. Dawson) 
1 - 1
1 - 2
87' C. Adam
 (assist by G. Whelan)

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
16
40
20
5
6
13
14
# Player Bookings
25
16 87'
26
3
8
28
22

Friday 26 December

Thursday 25 December

Wednesday 24 December

22:46
22:01
21:20
20:39
20:18
19:08
18:35
17:52
17:20
17:07
16:30
16:04
15:45
15:28
15:04
14:59
14:49
14:24
13:43
13:31
13:16
12:49
12:46
12:28
11:53
11:05
11:04
10:25
09:54
08:24
06:14
02:25
01:08
00:44

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 17 +25 42
2 17 +22 39
3 17 +12 32
4 17 +10 31
5 17 +15 29
6 17 +9 27
7 17 -1 27
8 17 +3 25
9 17 -5 23
10 17 -3 22
11 17 +0 21
12 17 -10 20
13 17 -5 19
14 17 -9 19
15 17 -6 17
16 17 -12 17
17 17 -8 15
18 17 -14 15
19 17 -9 13
20 17 -14 10

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