The Hawthorns
The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion [credit: Barry Marsh, Flickr]

West Bromwich Albion have endured a difficult return to the top flight this campaign and look destined to go back down with four matches left to play.

It has been a turbulent journey for the Baggies in the Premier League since they secured promotion from the Championship last season.

West Brom have suffered inconsistent results with shock wins and surprise defeats, along with a change in management midway through the season after Slaven Bilic was replaced by former England manager Sam Allardyce.

They currently sit 19th in the table, one point behind Fulham’s 27 points, and 10 points adrift of 17th place Newcastle. Both sides have superior goal difference to the Baggies.

Here are the five results that define their 2020/21 season:

West Brom 3-3 Chelsea, Saturday, September 26 2020

The Baggies started the season with two losses, 3-0 at home to Leicester City, then 5-2 away at Everton. Their third fixture saw them pit against Chelsea, which would be a daunting challenge for any newly promoted side.

What occurred on the day though was highly surprising, as Slaven Bilic’s side raced into a 3-0 lead with less than half an hour on the clock. Callum Robinson, who has become a nightmare opponent for Chelsea in recent years, scored a brace before Kyle Bartley added a third, with the shock result all but sealed.

However, the second half played out much differently as Frank Lampard’s Chelsea battled back to 3-3, with goals from Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Tammy Abraham, who levelled in the 93rd minute.

This capitulation, along with their two previous results, suggested the Midlands club would be in for a gruelling season if they wanted to secure another season in the Premier League.

Fulham 2-0 West Brom, Monday, November 2, 2020

Heading into this clash of two of the newly promoted teams at the start of November, Fulham and West Brom had both yet to register a win in the league.

It is imperative for any team, no matter what league, to beat the other sides in and around you in the table, and on this occasion West Brom failed to take a golden opportunity.

First half goals from Fulham duo Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Ola Aina were enough to lift the Londoners out of the relegation zone, while the Baggies remained stuck in the bottom three.

West Brom 0-5 Leeds United, Tuesday December 29, 2021

December was an erratic month for the club, with a change in manager and varied results. They were heavily beaten by Crystal Palace before narrowly losing out to Newcastle at the start of the month, then in what would be Bilic’s last game in charge of the club, they held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at The Etihad.

Sam Allardyce was brought in to steady the ship, but the unpredictability continued with a 3-0 loss to Aston Villa and a 1-1 draw away at Liverpool. To top it all off, Leeds United handed them a 5-0 thumping to round off a poor end to the calendar year.

 At the turn of the year West Brom found themselves five points adrift of safety with their form indicating no signs of improvement at a crucial turning point in the season.

Sheffield United 2-1 West Brom, Tuesday, February 2, 2021

This was quite possibly the Baggies’ worst result of the season, losing away to Sheffield United, who have been in last place all year and a shadow of the team that took the league by surprise in 2019/20.

Up to that point the Blades had only won two matches and had only scored twice in one game on two occasions, so to go and lose to Chris Wilder’s side would have been embarrassing for any team in the Premier League.

Allardyce’s men went and did just that, letting a 1-0 lead slip in the second half at Bramall Lane.

 West Brom 1-1 Wolves, Monday, May 3 2021

The result that all but confirmed West Brom’s relegation, having left themselves too much of a mountain to climb, they needed three points at home against Wolves, and only came away with one.

The visitors bossed the first half, taking the lead when an attempted clearance deflected off the heel of Fabio Silva and over Sam Johnstone. Mbaye Diagne pulled it back level after the break, although as the heavens opened up over the Hawthorns, the home side could not find a winner.

The Baggies are currently 10 points adrift in 19th place, and with 12 points left to play for, their survival is out of their hands.