May 9, 2014, 6:06 PM EDT
Story so far…Mired in the bottom half of the table for most of the season, it never truly appeared that the Baggies would be faced with relegation until a few weeks ago, all of a sudden you blink and they’re in 17th.
However, unless they find a way to lose a 17-goal lead in differential, they won’t have to worry about playing in the Championship next season.
Let me rephrase that…they won’t have to worry about playing in the Championship next season.
However, finishing 17th isn’t anything to write home about, and if West Brom would like to give themselves a bit of a boost going into the offseason, they’ll look to finish out with a win over Stoke City. This wasn’t the way Jeremy Peace envisioned the season ending up when he appointed Pepe Mel as manager, but at least they’ll have another Premier League fixture list next season.
The club has a lot of work to do if they want to give supporters a sense of safety next season, but finishing the season on a high note will also do a bit towards that.
Who do they play and where can I watch it?
The Baggies close out at the Hawthornes against Stoke City, a club that’s taken points off them a whopping 13 of the last 14 times, including five wins in the last six meetings for the Potters.
For Stoke, there’s a bit more riding on the match, with the club searching for its first-ever top-10 finish in the Premier League, but neither have any serious implications on its final match.
When the final whistle blows…West Brom supporters will check the scorelines furiously before seeing Norwich didn’t beat Arsenal by 16 goals. Then they’ll wipe the sweat from their brows. It’s been a season of lots of pressure and little results, but the ones they got were timely enough.
Pepe Mel hardly fared better than his sacked predecessor Steve Clarke, and the club very well could make another change this coming offseason. That won’t be the only change if it happens, either. Zoltan Gera is likely to leave at the expiry of his contract, and a lack of goals recently will see them likely reassess the current striking options of Saido Berainho, Matej Vydra, and Victor Anichebe. Berainho is a good talent for the future, but likely will need help if the club is to put together a consistent attack.
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