On Wednesday 6th April 2022, 12th placed West Brom will host second-placed Bournemouth at the Hawthorns in the EFL Championship. In the reverse fixture back in the opening matchday on 6th August 2021, the game ended in a 2-2 draw. Bournemouth’s scorers were Marcondes and Billing; West Brom’s goalscorers were O’Shea and Robinson. Coming into this game, West Brom lost 0-1 away at Birmingham, and Bournemouth won 3-2 at home against Bristol City.
West Brom arrive into this match having lost 0-1 to Birmingham City away from home. It is a result that leaves West Brom with 14 wins, 12 draws, and 13 losses. This season, West Brom have been, by far, the worst underperformer in attack. They were predicted to score 64 times until this point in the season, but in reality, they have scored only 42 times, a woeful underachievement going forward.
This underperformance can clearly be seen in the above shot map. West Brom have missed too many big chances from close range, as seen with the big orange and red circles. This massive underperformance in attack is why West Brom are in mid-table mediocrity this season. Still, one silver lining this season has been Karlan Grant’s performances. He has scored 14 goals this season, slightly more than what xG predicted.
Darnell Furlong is the Baggies’ most successful threat creator, especially through his throw-ins. Two other players have a threat creation score of over 10.0, which goes to show that creating chances has not been a problem for West Brom this season, only converting them has been a weakness. Conor Townsend has been West Brom’s most successful threat creator from open play this season.
Bournemouth have come off a 3-2 win against Bristol City at home, with goals from Dominic Solanke, Lewis Cook, and Siriki Dembele. Bournemouth’s record now reads as 21 wins, nine draws, and seven losses. Until recently, they were the best defence in the league, but the two goals conceded against Bristol now means Fulham are the tightest backline in the league. Still, this should not discourage Bournemouth as they have overperformed on their xGA of 39 by allowing only 33.
Bournemouth are slightly overachieving in attack compared to xG. The Cherries have scored 1.54 goals per 90 compared to 1.51 xG per 90. Bournemouth are shooting at a 39% accuracy, which is a surprise, but it is enough to distance themselves from the rest of the promotion play-off chasing pack. They rank either top or in the top 10% in goals per shot, shots on target, dribble success rate, and passes into the final third to name a few.
This match is between an underperforming attack of West Brom and an overperforming defence of Bournemouth. Bournemouth remain favourites to win this game.