Preview: West Bromwich Albion v Southampton

West Brom will hope to further entrench their position in the top half of the table as they host a Southampton side on Saturday who are looking to reduce the gap between the two sides to four points.

It's a testament to the remarkable consistency shown by West Brom between November and March that they are currently four points from six matches, yet are still enjoying their best-ever Premier League season and look likely to cling onto eighth position on the table.

However, aside from a surprise win at home over Arsenal and a draw at Old Trafford, Tony Pulis' men have had a tough run of late, failing to score a single goal in all three of their losses against Crystal Palace, Everton and Watford.

Ninth-placed Saints may not have similar problems in front of goal, having scored a remarkable 14 times in their last six league matches, but have struggled for consistency this season and find themselves a full seven points adrift of their opponents.

If the gap between the two sides may seem a little wide for Southampton to make a realistic challenge for eighth spot currently occupied by the Baggies, they'll find additional motivation in the form of the form of the two clubs beneath them. Both Watford and Leicester City, the latter especially, have shown good form recently and are both within three points of Claude Puel's men.

“It will be important to take points at West Brom, or one point minimum for our ambitions for the end of the season,” the former Nice manager said after his team's win over Crystal Palace.

His opposite number spoke positively about his team's performance this season.

"The team deserves a lot of credit for what they've done this year," Pulis told reporters ahead of the match. 

"We are pushing them for more though still. On our day we can give anyone a game. If we aren't on our game then we fall a little short. That's the level that we are at."

Team news is that the home side welcome back Matt Phillips who has recovered from a hamstring injury, while the Saints are without the suspended Oriol Romeu.

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