Albion maintained their record of not having lost the fourth game of a second tier season this century, but a goalless draw means that the Baggies have failed to win any of their first four games of a second tier season since 1994. On that occasion, Keith Burkinshaw’s team also started the campaign with three draws and a defeat leaving them bottom of the table having played fewer games than the majority of the division. They went on to win just one of their opening eleven games leading the board to sack Burkinshaw, replacing him with Alan Buckley.
Including all league campaigns, the Baggies have had fewer than three points (or equivalent) from the opening four games on only thirteen occasions. Most recently, Slaven Bilić’s team had just one point from the opening four games while in both 2013 and 2014, Albion had just two points at this stage. Before that, we have to go back to 1989 when Brian Talbot’s team opened with two draws and two defeats.
On two occasions, the Baggies have lost their opening four games – in 1960, Gordon Clark’s team lost their opening five games before beating Newcastle United 6-0 in game six, while in 1895, Clement Keys’ lost their first four and only escaped the club’s first ever relegation at the end of the campaign through the Test Matches where the bottom two in Division One played home and away against the top two in Division Two.
Looking ahead to game five, since 2000, Albion have been at home in their fifth game of a second tier season only three times but have won all of them, a 1-0 win at home to Crystal Palace in 2000 and 4-0 wins over Manchester City Ipswich Town in 2001 and 2007 respectively.
|* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.|
|2000/2001||28/08/2000||Queen’s Park Rangers (H)||W||2-1||Van Blerk, Hughes|
|2003/2004||25/08/2003||Preston North End (H)||W||1-0||Hughes (pen)|
|2006/2007||19/08/2006||Colchester United (H)||W||2-1||Ellington (pen), Wallwork|
|2007/2008||01/09/2007||Barnsley (H)||W||2-0||Teixeira, Beattie|
|2009/2010||22/08/2009||Ipswich Town (H)||W||2-0||Mulumbu, Koren|
|2018/2019||18/08/2018||Queen’s Park Rangers (H)||W||7-1||Phillips (2), Gibbs, Rodriguez (2 pens), Gayle, Robson-Kanu|
|2019/2020||21/08/2019||Reading (H)||D||1-1||Zohore (pen)|
|2021/2022||21/08/2021||Blackburn Rovers (A)||W||2-1||Mowatt, Phillips|
|2022/2023||17/08/2022||Cardiff City (H)||D||0-0|
|2000/2001||03/09/2000||Crystal Palace (H)||W||1-0||McInnes|
|2001/2002||08/09/2001||Manchester City (H)||W||4-0||McInnes, Clement (2, 1 pen), Dobie|
|2003/2004||30/08/2003||Derby County (A)||W||1-0||Hulse|
|2007/2008||15/09/2007||Ipswich Town (H)||W||4-0||Miller, Teixeira, Phillips (2)|
|2009/2010||29/08/2009||Sheffield United (A)||D||2-2||Bednár (2)|
|2019/2020||24/08/2019||Derby County (A)||D||1-1||Zohore (pen)|
|2021/2022||28/08/2021||Peterborough United (A)||W||1-0||Ajayi|
|2022/2023||20/08/2022||Hull City (H)|