West Brom Sunderland Odds : Black Cats looking bet of the weekend

West Brom will be determined to improve their home form this weekend when they take on a Sunderland side that has been hugely impressive since Martin O’Neill took over, and with Paddy Power offering 2/1 on the away win, punters are piling in.

Roy Hodgson’s men may sit a comfortable eight points clear of the relegation zone, but this has been largely down to their form away from home. At the Hawthorns, the Baggies have lost five of their last six Premier League games and they need this to improve.

There has actually only been two victories at home for West Brom this season, with the last one coming against Bolton back in November. They have also only scored nine times on home soil this season.

An explanation for these struggles in front of their home fans hasn’t been offered by Hodgson and it is certainly something which is difficult to put a finger on.

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It’s not as if they are getting hammered either – their last four home defeats have been by the odd goal – so it is all very frustrating.

As mentioned though, West Brom are clear of relegation trouble at the moment and they secured a fantastic 5-1 victory at local rivals Wolves last time out. Perhaps they can take this form into the home game with Sunderland on Saturday.

As for the Black Cats, well they are in a fantastic run of form, as they have been ever since O’Neill took over. In total, they have picked up 22 points from a possible 33 since the former Leicester boss replaced Steve Bruce.

This means that they sit 9th in the table, while they are also in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. All in all, it is an excellent time to be a Sunderland fan and they will want this to continue for the rest of the season.

Looking at the team news for this weekend, West Brom’s Paul Scharner faces a late fitness test, while this game could come too soon for returning Captain Chris Brunt.

For Sunderland, Nicklas Bendtner is back in contention after injury, although Titus Bramble and Wes Brown are still sidelined.

Overall, this should be a tight contest at the Hawthorns and it gets underway at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.

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