West Brom-Southampton Preview

The Associated Press

Though Southampton and West Bromwich Albion each fell short of earning a victory in their Premier League openers, both sides feel there's much to build on going forward.

The Saints will be looking for a third straight victory over West Brom in their home opener on Saturday at St. Mary's.

Daniel Sturridge's go-ahead tally from Raheem Sterling in the 79th minute Sunday stood up for Liverpool and sent Southampton to a 2-1 loss at Anfield last week. But while the new-look Saints dropped their second Premier League opener in three seasons, they proved - at least for the time being - that they won't back down from any challenge.

Defender Nathaniel Clyne netted the equaliser in the 56th minute for Southampton, who missed late-on when Morgan Schneiderlin's strike found the bar in the 88th minute and Shane Long's header on the rebound went wide.

The Saints had one more shot on goal than Liverpool and four more corners than the Reds.

"It's frustrating not to get anything out of the game, but there are a lot of positives to take," Long told Southampton's official website.

"We'll work hard this week to build towards West Brom at home and hopefully we'll get the three points then."

With Long suited up for West Brom, the Baggies outscored the Saints 5-0 to win both meetings in 2012-13. Southampton recorded a pair of 1-0 triumphs to return the favour last season.

West Brom appeared to be in position to give manager Alan Irvine a victory in his debut for the club after forward Saido Berahino scored his second goal of the match in the 74th minute for a 2-1 advantage versus Sunderland on Saturday at The Hawthorns. However, the Black Cats' Sebastian Larsson spoiled the celebration with a score in the 85th to salvage a 2-2 draw.

"Afterwards we were disappointed but I think we were pleased with the way we played overall," Irvine told West Brom's official website.

The Baggies maintained that attitude during training this week as they collectively expect to be much improved after last season's 7-15-16 finish that left them three points clear of relegation.

"The lads have been great this season and we're working hard for each other," Irvine said. "It's a squad game more than ever now and you've got to support everybody around the place, whether you're playing or not.

"We've got a good vibe around the place and the lads are doing well together, if we can keep that going we will have a good chance this season."

Berahino is three goals shy of matching his entire total over 32 matches for the Baggies last season.

Long scored 19 goals in 2 1/2 seasons for West Brom before playing the final 15 for Hull City in 2013-14.

Of the seven goals scored between the sides over the last two Premier League seasons, none of the players who scored are currently playing for the same club.

Southampton owned an 11-4 goal advantage while going 3-1-1 down the stretch at home last season. The 155 shots by opponents at St. Mary's in 2013-14 were the fewest attempted against any home side.

West Brom went 3-6-10 away from The Hawthorns in league action last season and were outscored 6-1 while dropping their final three such matches. They failed to score in the last two.

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