West Brom-Leeds United Preview
Sam Allardyce conceded he was not entirely truthful when initially speaking about his West Brom future, admitting he was always planning to leave the club if they got relegated.
West Brom confirmed on Wednesday - after a 3-1 defeat to West Ham - that Allardyce would not be staying on to push for promotion from the Championship next term.
Allardyce had previously claimed he was undecided on his future, but has now revealed he was never going to stay on if the club were relegated.
He told TalkSPORT: "I was only telling you something just to get by. We were in discussion and I was thinking about it then.
"I wasn't actually telling you the truth. Initially it was always the fact that if we got relegated I wasn't going to stay.
"They were pleased enough to see the changes we made and the effort we put in. Not just me and my staff but all together.
"I was very appreciative and comfortable with running West Brom, which is sometimes not the case and can be difficult things behind the scenes that make things more difficult."
West Brom's season is rounded off by a trip to Leeds United, who have impressed on their long-awaited return to the Premier League and could yet finish in the top eight.
However, two club veterans - Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi - will be leaving after Sunday's game, which will be played in front of some spectators following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
"They've been a reference for Leeds, for the team, for the squad, for the fans," Marcelo Bielsa said.
"Two excellent professionals, great team-mates and footballers who have been very influential and decisive.
"For the club, we have great sadness that they will no longer be part of the institution. It's a homage that they totally deserve."
Leeds United - Pablo Hernandez
Hernandez scored nine goals as Leeds secured promotion last season, but the 36-year-old has had an injury hit campaign, making just two league starts. He has been a driving force for Leeds under Bielsa, however, and will be hoping to go out with a bang.
West Brom - Sam Johnstone
There is surely a place in the Premier League for Sam Johnstone, who in truth kept West Brom in the fight at times this term. It could be his last Baggies appearance, with bigger clubs tipped to be circling.
- Leeds' Patrick Bamford has scored 16 Premier League goals this season, the most by a player for a promoted club since Charlie Austin with QPR in 2014-15 (18).
- Allardyce has never lost at Elland Road in his managerial career (W2 D2), with this his first away game against Leeds since a 1-1 draw with West Ham in the 2011-12 Championship.
- Leeds have won 52 per cent of the Premier League games winger Raphinha has played this season (15/29), compared to 25 per cent without him (2/8). The Brazilian has ended on the winning side in his last six Premier League games, with only one player ever winning seven in a row for a newly promoted team - Steve Watson for Newcastle United between February and May 1994.
- Leeds have benefited from an own goal in each of their last three league meetings with West Brom, with Kyle Bartley (October 2019), Semi Ajayi (January 2020) and Romaine Sawyers (December 2020) the players in question.
- After a run of three straight league defeats against West Brom, Leeds are unbeaten in four against the Baggies (W3 D1), with those three victories coming by an aggregate score of 10-0.
Updated May 21, 2021