West Brom v Southampton Odds : Punters backing Rickie Lambert to shoot Saints to victory at Hawthorns

The latest West Brom v Southampton odds as Rickie Lambert for first or last goalscorer proves popular with punters.

Two of last season’s surprise packages go head to head when West Bromwich Albion welcomes Southampton to the Hawthorns.

Steve Clarke’s side surprised many last season on their way to an 8th place finish and while the element of surprise may have vanished the former Liverpool coaches repertoire this time round another comfortable mid-table season awaits the Midlander’s.

The departure of last year’s top scorer Romelu Lukaku, who has returned to Chelsea, has been offset by the arrival of strikers Nicolas Anelka and Matej Vydra.

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Anelka, scorer of 7 goals in pre-season, is poised is set to make his competitive debut alongside Shane Long with on-loan Udinese striker Vydra likely to be involved from the bench.

Another new arrival, defender Diego Lugano, is also set to make his first competitive start while midfielders Zoltan Gera and George Thorne are not yet ready for selection after recent knee injuries.

Southampton flirted with the bottom three for much of last season before a strong finish saw them comfortably avoided relegation.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has strengthened his side considerably during the summer with the big money signings of Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama from Celtic and Croatia defender Dejan Lovren.

The pair are set to make their competitive debuts at the Hawthorns and will add some steel to the Saints starting eleven.

England’s new star, Rickie Lambert is expected to lead the line days after making a fairytale debut not to mention an immediate impression on England manager Roy Hodgson scoring the winner just minutes after coming into the field of play.

The big striker is proving very popular in the markets with punters, and he can be backed at around 6/1 to score the first goal of the game or 9/4 to score anytime during the match.

Nathaniel Clyne and Luke Shaw are doubts with knocks picked up in pre-season while will assess the fitness of Gaston Ramirez and Maya Yoshida after they travelled long-haul for midweek internationals.

Southampton last won away to West Brom since 1984 but they head into the game in good form after ending the second of last season with just 5 defeats in 19 games.

This one kicks off at the Hawthorns at 15:00 GMT

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.

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