West Brom boss Tony Pulis will preserve his relegation free record

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) looks at what we can expect from Tony Pulis and West Brom during the 2017/18 Premier League season.

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Background

Tony Pulis amassed 40 points in record time on the way to his first-ever top-half Premier League finish, as West Brom averaged 1.88 points per game between November and March. However, their form nosedived on the home straight with seven defeats in the last eight matches, a late slump that left fans divided over the quality of the experience. The Baggies were dumped out of both cup competitions by lower league opposition at the first hurdle, and 49 per cent of their goals came from set plays.

Personality

Everybody knows where they stand with Pulis. Players might not like his decisions or revel in his methods but they invariably respect his wishes and give it their all. Half-hearted isn’t an option because there’s no escaping his powers of observation, while confronting the Welshman over any bone of contention is a futile exercise that ends with only one winner. Besides, his methods are proven to work. Everything is black and white, matches are condensed into a handful of key performance indicators. There’s no ambiguity.

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Verdict

Transfer business has been slow with Jay Rodriguez the only noteworthy addition and there’s a nagging suspicion this season could become an ordeal for the Baggies. The profit on set-piece goals is bound to drop and a decent start could be imperative with the fixture list throwing up six also-rans before the end of September. However, Pulis has never been relegated in 25 years and that’s unlikely to change now. He will probably never lose the habit of digging out results when he needs them most.

Prediction: 15th

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