I’m sure even those with very basic mathematical ability will be able to work out that, if Albion avoid defeat against Brentford next weekend, the match which marks the halfway point of the season, it would put the Baggies on track for a 100-point tally for the season.
Leeds United’s late capitulation at home to their bogey side, Cardiff City (the Bluebirds have only lost once at Elland Road since 1983, and only lost to Leeds three times in their last 25 meetings), means that the Baggies are back on top of the Championship and now 12 points clear of third-placed Preston North End.
Forty-nine points from 22 games is a remarkable total and is, in fact, Albion’s best ever start to a season for more than a century. Yes, Bilić’s Baggies have finally surpassed the start made by Vic Buckingham’s Team of the Century, albeit in a division lower, and the only Albion side to have made a better start was the 1901/02 Division Two promotion winning side, managed by the appropriately named Frank Heaven, who had the equivalent of 54 points after 22 games having won 17 and drawn 3. That was in Albion’s first ever season outside of the top flight.
The current 12-match league unbeaten run equals the one set by Roberto di Matteo’s side at the conclusion of their league programme in 2010, which equals the longest run within a season since Ron Atkinson’s great side managed 13 league matches undefeated between October 1978 and February 1979.
Looking ahead to game 23, last season saw Dwight Gayle’s clinical hat trick at the New York Stadium in Rotherham – it was a little sad to see him miss a sitter for Newcastle on Match of the Day last night.
|* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.|
|2001/2002||08/12/2001||Sheffield United (H)||L||0-1|
|2003/2004||09/12/2003||Bradford City (A)||W||1-0||Dobie|
|2007/2008||15/12/2007||Charlton Athletic (H)||W||4-2||Bednar, Gera (2), Phillips|
|2009/2010||26/12/2009||Peterborough United (H)||W||2-0||Moore, Bennett (o.g.)|
|2018/2019||14/12/2018||Sheffield United (A)||W||2-1||Barry, Gibbs|
|2019/2020||14/12/2019||Birmingham City (A)||W||3-2||Diangana, Austin (2)|
|2000/2001||16/12/2000||Watford (A)||D||3-3||Hughes, Bardsen (o.g.), Roberts|
|2001/2002||12/12/2001||Coventry City (H)||W||1-0||Konjić (o.g.)|
|2003/2004||13/12/2003||Crewe Alexandra (H)||D||2-2||Haas, Gregan|
|2006/2007||16/12/2006||Coventry City (H)||W||5-0||Kamara (2, 1 pen), Koumas, Phillips, Robinson|
|2007/2008||22/12/2007||Stoke City (A)||L||1-3||Bednar|
|2009/2010||28/12/2009||Scunthorpe United (A)||W||3-1||Dorrans (2, 1 pen), Zuiverloon|
|2018/2019||22/12/2018||Rotherham United (A)||W||4-0||Gayle (3), Barnes|