Saints arrive for the next TV test

West Bromwich Albion v Southampton; The Hawthorns, Friday 16th February 2024, 8pm

Friday sees what should be the toughest match remaining at the Hawthorns this season as third-placed Southampton visit West Bromwich looking to bounce back after their first defeat since September on Tuesday evening. The Saints’ club-record 25 match unbeaten run came to an end at Ashton Gate as they were beaten 3-1 by Liam Manning’s Bristol City and it was enough for them to surrender second place to Leeds United who are themselves on an incredible run winning all seven league games since their defeat at the Hawthorns in the last match of 2023.

Having been relegated from the Premier League last season, Southampton took a while to get going this season and had actually lost four successive games before embarking on their unbeaten run. That run included, of course, a 2-1 win over the Baggies in a match that Albion really should have won, or at least earned a point. That performance, and the Saints’ stumbles in the past week (they were also 2-0 down to struggling Huddersfield Town last weekend), should give Albion hope that they can inflict a second defeat on Russell Martin’s team, particularly given they are currently on their own run of five successive home wins in the league.

Tuesday’s victory over Cardiff City was not the sparkling swashbuckling victory we might all like to see, and there was a fear that one goal might not be enough, but it was ultimately a professional performance that earned three vital points but will not live long in the memory. Mikey Johnston’s early strike set Albion off in the right direction but they failed to press home the advantage and Cardiff were set up with a very defensive outlook that frustrated the Baggies front line. I felt that Fellows, Johnston and Thomas-Asante were trying to make the runs but whoever was in possession either didn’t see the run or didn’t feel able to play the pass. John Swift was particularly quiet and it wasn’t until the substitutions were made that Albion sparked into life once again. The second goal was a thing of beauty – a quick break, a stunning ball from Wallace and an excellent run and finish from Wiemann.

As I suspected, Corberán opted to bring Erik Pieters into the side and, despite not starting a match for several months and enduring a difficult time following his wife’s cancer diagnosis, the Dutchman performed well albeit Cardiff offered very little attacking threat outside of set pieces. His lack of pace may leave him more exposed against Southampton’s more mobile attack and I’m sure Semi Ajayi will be back in the side on Friday should he be deemed ready to play.

The Nigerian wasn’t due back from AFCON until Thursday so the game might come a little early for him to start were circumstances ideal, but with Kyle Bartley ruled out for another couple of weeks at least, he may be forced into action. Grady Diangana returned a day earlier than Ajayi, but with the improvements in Albion’s attacking options since January, he is likely to find himself on the bench.

Some of Albion’s best performances have come against the better sides in the division. Hull City, Leeds United and Ipswich Town were all beaten and, while Leicester City did claim all three points, it could easily have turned out differently. In fact, other than the Foxes, the Baggies have beaten all the teams they have faced at home in the top 14 with nine of the twelve points they have dropped at the Hawthorns coming against teams currently 15th and lower. Whether it is because they raise their game, or that the better sides are less likely to defend so deeply, or a combination of the two, but Albion have generally faired well at the Hawthorns against their promotion rivals.

Let’s hope that the trend continues on Friday and, with the news that prospective new owner Shilen Patel is apparently due to attend the match, it could be a good time to show just how good the Baggies can be.


Albion’s 3-0 win over Southampton in their last meeting at the Hawthorns in April 2021 is their only victory over the Saints in their previous seven encounters. The Baggies poor form against Southampton extends further back to just three wins in fourteen games stretching from the memorable 3-0 win at St Mary’s in April 2013 inspired by Romelu Lukaku. There has been one other home win over the Saints since then, when Saido Berahino’s second minute strike proved enough to defeat Ronald Koeman’s team in February 2015.

Southampton have never been one of Albion’s favourite opponents, and the Saints have recorded 33 wins to the Baggies’ 25 in all competitions and have won nine times at the Hawthorns. Two of those came in the space of a fortnight in February 2018 when Alan Pardew’s team lost league and FA Cup matches 2-1 and 3-2 respectively either side of the infamous Barcelona trip.

In Albion’s first ever Premier League season, Southampton were on the end of a buoyant Baggies as they recorded a third successive 1-0 victory thanks to Sean Gregan’s late winner to lift Gary Megson’s team to the heady heights of seventh place after six games, above Manchester United! Of course, Albion would win only three more league games all season and were relegated!

Another victory of note was also 1-0 over Southampton, this one on 29th March 1986. Andy Thompson scored the only goal of the game and Albion won despite Martin Dickinson being sent off. It proved to be the Baggies’ last ever win in the old Division One.

Big home wins over the Saints have been few and far between. The 3-0 win in the last Hawthorns fixture is actually third on the list behind a 4-0 victory in October 1979 when goals from John Deehan, Gary Owen, Bryan Robson and Ally Brown secured the points, and a 5-1 win back in May 1930 when Jimmy Cookson scored four goals with Jimmy Edwards grabbing the other. Southampton’s biggest win at the Hawthorns was in February 1975 when Lawrie McMenemy’s team won a Division Two fixture 3-0 with goals from Peter Osgood, Mick Channon and Bobby Stokes.

Stat Attack

Current Form

Albion W L L W D W
Southampton W D W W W L

All competitions; most recent game on the right

Last matches

Last meeting

11 Nov 2023 – League Championship
Southampton 2 (Smallbone, A Armstrong)
West Bromwich Albion 1 (Bartley)

Last meeting at the Hawthorns

12 Apr 2021 – Premier League
West Bromwich Albion 3 (Pereira (pen), Phillips, Robinson)
Southampton 0

Last win

12 Apr 2021 – Premier League
West Bromwich Albion 3 (Pereira (pen), Phillips, Robinson)
Southampton 0

Albion’s Record against Southampton

  Overall   Home
  P W D L F A   P W D L F A
League 73 24 21 28 84 88   36 20 8 8 49 28
FA Cup 9 1 3 5 9 16   4 0 3 1 4 5
Total 82 25 24 33 93 104   40 20 11 9 53 33

Related posts