Tomorrow is the final day of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign. It’s the culmination of everything that has happened this season.
We play West Brom, who are now under the management of ‘MoPo’ Mauricio Pochettino after they dispensed with the services of Tony Pulis on 29th December and Gary Megson concluded his caretaker position after 15 days. In many ways, the contrast between ourselves and West Brom is a measured one considering both clubs changed their managers around the same time.
Pochettino has won 6, lost 6 and drawn 2. What’s interesting is that they have picked up wins against Manchester City and Liverpool but lost against Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. It’s a similar story against the teams you’d expect to be around them with wins over Crystal Palace, Brighton and Leicester City but losses against Huddersfield Town and Stoke City.
Worryingly for West Brom, their key player is Jonny Evans. You know it’s going to be a defensive side when the central defender is the top man. The top scorer is Salomón Rondón unsurprisingly with ten goals but Jay Rodriguez is the back-up striker and he only has one goal in six starts and fifteen substitute appearances. Rondón is also the player with the most assists, seven, compared to wingers Matt Phillips and Nacer Chadli having eight between them. For my money its criminal that Oliver Burke has only made one start all campaign long.
I expect West Brom to lineup as they have in recent games, a 4-2-3-1 with Morrison playing in behind Rondón. They last took on Leicester and won three goals to two, keeping Leicester rooted to the foot of the league.
West Brom have several players unavailable. Gareth Barry is unregistered and transfer listed, Gareth McAuley is out with blisters, Mats Seungtjens has a broken ankle and key player Jonny Evans is a doubt with a hip injury. Seeing Evans and McAuley out of action suggests there could be goals in it for us.
Ironically, we have the two players we signed in the January transfer window unavailable. Andy King has picked up a groin strain and André Ayew is doubtful with a tight groin. Other than that, we have everybody available in the formation you selected at the start of the week.
As a reminder, any three of Crystal Palace, Burnley, Watford and Leicester City will be relegated. Burnley visit the King Power to play Leicester in a crucial, crucial, crucial final day fixture.
Arsenal are Champions, Liverpool are safe in second. Manchester United and Chelsea play each other in a battle for third place. Manchester City can hold onto fifth if they better the results of Tottenham and Stoke City. For us, we could move up to seventh if we win and Stoke lose. Stoke are at home to Huddersfield Town so I’m not holding my breath. I’d be happy with finishing eighth, matching my ambition of finishing in the top half.
Join us on @FMDaily_ for a Sunday 3pm kick-off, so join us 15 minutes before for the teamsheets, when we’ll be using the 3-5-2 formation you voted for and wish us luck as always!