The 2021/22 Championship campaign gets underway with West Bromwich Albion travelling to face Bournemouth on Friday at 7:45pm (UK time).
Bournemouth felt the pain of the play-offs last season, losing to Brentford in the semi-finals, while West Brom were relegated from the Premier League.
Bournemouth vs West Brom live stream:
Friday’s game is on Bet365’s live-stream schedule for readers with an account. Those without a bet365 account who are over 18 and Gamble Aware need only follow three simple steps to watch Bournemouth vs West Brom online*:
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Where to watch Bournemouth vs West Brom on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Main Event & Sky Sports Football
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 West Brom
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Bournemouth vs West Brom build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Bournemouth were one of the relegated sides of 2019/20 looking to seal their immediate return to the Premier League alongside Watford and Norwich City but unlike the other two, the Cherries were unsuccessful in their attempts. A poor run between the end of December and February ultimately cost Bournemouth their spot in the automatic promotion spots, and Jason Tindall his job. Jonathan Woodgate did steady the ship and Bournemouth finished sixth in the Championship, but their play-off dreams were ended at the first opportunity as Brentford overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit. Scott Parker has now taken charge, leaving Fulham for their Championship rivals.
West Brom were one of the teams Bournemouth replaced in the Championship last season, but the Baggies’ stay in the Premier League was brief, lasting just one season. It was a pitiful campaign for West Brom, who sacked Slaven Bilic in December and replaced him with Sam Allardyce whose main selling point was his history of avoiding relegation. But that came to an end as West Brom went down without too much of a fight, finishing 13 points from safety come the end of the campaign. Allardyce has now gone, replaced by former Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael.
- Bournemouth (vs MK Dons): Travers; Stacey, Ibsen Rossi, Kelly, Smith; Billing, Kilkenny, Marcondes; Brooks, Solanke, Anthony.
- West Brom (vs Birmingham City): Button; O’Shea, Bartley, Clarke; Furlong, Mowatt, Livermore, Townsend; Diangana, Robinson, Grant.
Chris Mempham is suspended for Bournemouth after his red card in the play-off semi-final defeat to Brentford at the end of last season, while Lewis Cook is still injured. West Brom have no fresh concerns.
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Players to watch:
- Bournemouth: One of the highlights of Bournemouth’s team towards the end of their Premier League tenure was David Brooks, whose progress was cut by a serious injury in 2019. But he had a decent season in the Championship last year and will be looking to take another step in the right direction this year, to get Bournemouth back in the big time. The Welsh midfielder, who was directly involved in 12 Championship goals for Bournemouth last season, has already got 2021/22 off to a good start, scoring twice in the Cherries’ 5-0 win over MK Dons in the Carabao Cup first round. And Parker is looking forward to working alongside Brooks, recently saying: “He’s been first-class, David. Still loads of improvement. I see someone still young in his ways, technical ability really, really good. The finer details of his game we need to clean up.”
- West Brom: From one younger player looking to impress to another, Grady Diangana will be looking to re-find his Championship form after a tough year in the Premier League. Diangana first joined West Brom in 2019/20, on loan from West Brom, and was directly involved in 14 goals in the Championship, scoring eight and adding six assists. His performances led West Brom to sign him on a permanent deal but the 23-year-old struggled in the Premier League, scoring just one goal in 20 appearances, struggling with injury and then falling out of favour under Allardyce.
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