Even though the top flight curtain raiser, Leicester City v Manchester City Community Shield match takes place on Saturday, the 2021/22 Championship season kicks off on Friday as Bournemouth host West Brom at the Vitality Stadium. The match will be broadcast on BT Sport. Bournemouth begins a new era under former Fulham manager Scott Parker, who replaced Jonathan Woodgate. Parker will be hoping to lead the Cherries back to the Premier League after the south coast side lost in the play-off semi-finals to eventual winners Brentford. West Brom were relegated from the Premier League last season after a disappointing campaign. Former Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael will lead the Baggies this season with hopes of promotion back to England’s top-flight at the first time of asking.
Bournemouth ended their 2020/21 Championship campaign in poor form, losing four of their last five matches. The Cherries won one of their three pre-season friendlies, a 4-2 victory over second-tier Spanish side Linense. Parker’s side then dismantled MK Dons 5-0 in their EFL Cup first round last weekend. West Brom have had a more settled pre-season, winning three of their four pre-season friendlies. They will look to start positively after a dreadful end to their Premier League season, where they lost their last four matches.
Bournemouth will be without Jack Stacey (knock), Ben Pearson (illness), and Lewis Cook (knee). Quevin Castro could return for West Brom after dislocating his shoulder, and Matt Phillips is back in contention after completing his isolation period. Wantaway players Matheus Pereira and Sam Johnstone are unlikely to feature.
Outright Winner Odds
There is good value across the board in the outright winner odds for this Championship curtain-raiser. A West Brom away win will odds of 21/10, provided by Betway. However, the Baggies were poor away from home last season and lost seven of their final 10 Premier League matches on the road. The Midlands side also lost three of their last four matches away at Bournemouth. Our tip this week is to bet on a Bournemouth home win to kick-start the Championship season. The Cherries have won three of their last four in all competitions at the Vitality and have won four of seven matches between the two sides. SBK will provide the best value for a Bournemouth win at 6/4.
BTTS (Both Teams To Score) Betting
Bournemouth and West Brom have been amongst the goals in pre-season. The Cherries have scored 11 in their last four matches, while West Brom has scored seven in their four friendlies. There is value on backing BTTS no, however. West Brom has kept four consecutive clean sheets in pre-season, and BetVictor will return 21/20 for BTTS no on Friday. But our best value bet for this fixture is to back MansionBet’s odds of 20/23 in the BTTS yes market. Bournemouth has seen BTTS in four of their last five in all competitions and conceded in seven of their last nine at home. This fixture also sees both teams score regularly, with just two of the last eight finishing with one team scoring.
With potential goals in this fixture, the anytime goalscorer market could also provide good value. Bournemouth midfielder David Brooks bagged a brace last weekend in the Cherries’ 5-0 win against MK Dons, and he is backed at 7/2 by Unibet to find the net again this weekend. For West Brom, Karlan Grant could be their goal threat this season. Grant had a poor 2020/21 season in the Premier League and scored just once for the Baggies last season. But, his previous season in the Championship with former club Huddersfield was emphatic as he scored 19 goals and at odds of 9/4, provided by Unibet, he is good value to find the net anytime this weekend. Our anytime goalscorer tip is to go with Bournemouth talisman Dominic Solanke. The Cherries’ striker scored last weekend against MK Dons and found the net 19 times last season and Betfair‘s 2/1 odds represent great value.
There will be plenty at stake for Bournemouth and West Brom this season, so a fast start to their Championship campaign will be vital. New managers and new signings will want to make an impression so expect excitement at the Vitality on Friday night. Please be aware if you are choosing one of the above bets, they may not always win. They are created by looking at the latest team news, odds and player form, with the emphasis on good betting value. To make your betting go further we also suggest you check out our homepage for the latest, and best UK free bets and betting offers from the leading online bookmakers. It is important to be aware of responsible gambling procedures before placing a bet and read any bookies’ terms and conditions before signing up. So, please gamble responsibly, bet within your means and keep your betting fun, and, good luck.