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First team

Five point preview: West Bromwich Albion

Jonathan Leko in action for the Baggies in pre-season against Walsall.

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth start their Premier League campaign at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

We preview five points to look out for ahead of the clash. 

The Baggies' pre-season

West Brom have had plenty of game time ahead of tomorrow’s season opener against the Cherries. Tony Pulis’ side have played nine games in total, winning fixtures against both Walsall and Burton Albion.

The Baggies have also had tough tests in the Premier League’s Asia Trophy, falling short to Crystal Palace and narrowly losing 7-6 on penalties to Leicester City.

West Brom have also come up against foreign opponents, with Slavia Prague the opponents on a pre-season trip to Austria and Deportivo La Coruna hosting in Spain. 

New signings

Jay Rodriguez was the Baggies’ most notable recruit this summer, signing from Southampton for an undisclosed fee. Despite being hampered by injuries during his spell down south, the 28-year-old still managed 35 goals for the Saints.

Aside from Rodriguez, Tony Pulis has also brought in Egyptian centre-back Ahmed Hegazy on loan. The former Fiorentina man will bring a wealth of experience and look to strengthen the Baggies' defence.

Injury update

This morning’s press conference saw Eddie Howe reveal that Junior Stanislas would be out for the Cherries and could face up to a month on the sidelines.

Callum Wilson remains injured despite making good progress, whilst Jermain Defoe and Steve Cook are both in contention for a place in the starting XI.

For the Baggies, Tony Pulis also gave an update on those fit for tomorrow’s game, with Gareth McAuley and James Morrison set to miss out against the Cherries.

Away following

Eddie Howe’s side will once again be well backed on the road, with over 2,400 fans making the trip to the Midlands.

There will be no tickets available on the day but fans wasted no time snapping them up early for the Cherries Premier League season opener.

Opening day antics

The Cherries have had a mix of opening day results in the last five years, winning two, losing two and drawing one.

Last season saw Manchester United travel to Vitality Stadium to kick start the campaign, with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney proving too strong for the Cherries in a 3-1 result.

A 4-0 win against Huddersfield in the Championship was the last time that Eddie Howe’s side recorded a win on the opening day, as they went on to win the league and gain promotion to English football’s top flight.

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