West Brom hosted Watford in the opening game of the season. They held their own against the former Premier league contenders Watford. However, this game is a wake-up call for West Brom manager Steve Bruce. This match was a reminder that Albion needs to sort out their center-forward issues if they want to thrive in the championship this season.
Watford were looking quite shaky and were constantly on the back foot from the opening minutes of the match. However, that didn’t stop them from opening their season’s tally with a sensational goal from Ismaila Sarr. The Senegalese forward took hold of the clearance and chipped it from 60 yards to give Watford the lead 12 minutes into the match. However, Albion were not deterred at all by the goal. They kept firing on all cylinders, forcing Watford keeper Daniel Bachman to make some magnificent saves to keep the lead. West Brom were able to slip one by Bachmann very soon. An excellent assist from Diangana and an even graceful control-and-shoot play by Karlan Grant from close play saw West Brom equalizing the score.
Watford came close to winning the match when they were awarded a penalty kick for a foul on Sarr. Sarr went down quite easily in the Albion penalty area in response to a challenge from the defender. However, his tamely hit shot to the left side of the post was easily saved by the West Brom goalkeeper. Despite of this, Sarr was the star of the show. The fearsome strike from 60 yards is being compared to the one hit by Beckham against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Centre forward woes for West Brom
West Brom were in the front foot for the majority of the game against Watford. However, their lack of a proper finisher up top saw them throw away their multiple opportunities to win the match. Watford boss Rob Edwards even went as far as to admit that they didn’t deserve to win the match and West Brom were the far better team.
Darryl Dike’s injury means that the depth of center forwards is quite limited in supply for West Brom. Moreover, his use of just three substitutes out of 5 possible ones speaks volumes about the issue. To earn promotion to the Premier League, West Brom have to reinforce their center-forward department.
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