West Brom vs Saints: In which areas do Baggies have better stats?

Southampton take on West Bromwich Albion this weekend at the Hawthorns.

West Bromwich Albion head into Saturday's match with Southampton realising that they will have to be at their very best to stop one of the country's most threatening sides.

The Saints have mounted a sustained challenge for a top-four spot, with their play winning them many admirers.

Southampton's attacking threat has been very noticeable throughout the campaign, but they also have conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League and there are few areas of weakness to exploit.

It means that West Brom will know that they will need to be at their very best if they are to limit Southampton's threat.

The Baggies have improved considerably under Tony Pulis and, typically for a side under the Welshman's guidance, appear very hard to break down.

Although they may not be the most free flowing side offensively, they are compact, organised and solid and Pulis has already helped them climb the table.

  Shots per gameShots against per gamePasses per gameForward passes per gameInterceptions per gameTackles per gameClearances per gameAppearances
Southampton 13.26 9.19 487.42 177.84 15.96 22 22.69 26
West Brom under Pulis 9 12.42 349 153.85 12.28 20.14 30.28 7

The match should represent an interesting contrast of styles and, just from looking at the statistics, it is easy to see how different their strategies are.

West Brom's game is far more basic, with their players required to clear their lines frequently and be direct with their passing.

The Baggies have made far fewer passes per game than Southampton since Pulis took over, yet their forward passing stats are comparable and that shows how much importance Pulis puts on getting the ball into the strikers as soon as possible. 

If they can do that effectively then they may be able to trouble Southampton, but considering West Brom have struggled to create chances against most teams this season, doing so against such a resolute defence will be difficult.

Whatever happens in the match, it is guaranteed to be a hard fought encounter at the Hawthorns, with both sides needing the three points for differing reasons. 

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