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Fan Focus: Albion Till We Die Talk SAFC v West Bromwich Albion

Rory Fallow spoke to Mark Thomas from Albion Till We Die this week to get the opposition view ahead of what is sure to be a tough game against Tony Pulis' side.

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It's been a bit of a mixed bag this season for The Baggies. Wins over the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal with defeats against Newcastle and Norwich, it pretty much sums up the inconsistency of WBA during the campaign. How do fans feel about the season as a whole?

I don't think we've currently got the squad or play the sort of football to push into the top ten so as it stands twelfth to around fourteenth is probably as good as it going to get for us.

Like most mid-table teams we've pulled off some good results - away at Chelsea, away at Liverpool and at home to Arsenal and Manchester United most notably. We've also had some awful defeats, the ones at Swansea and Southampton and at home to Bournemouth the ones that stick in the mind.

The most disappointing thing for me and many other supporters though is the lack of a good cup run despite being given favourable draws. With our last cup final appearance coming back in 1970, and given the club's impressive cup history, a trophy really is long overdue.

Tony Pulis. Would you be happy to see him in charge next season or is it time for a change?

It's a tough one, it really is. Pulis is probably as close as you can get to a Premier League football guarantee and I suppose to most people being part of English football's elite is all that matters. However, the football we've had to endure for the majority of the season has been awful, really dour defensive stuff. It's even been difficult to enjoy some of our victories due to the way we played in those games. The majority of displays this season are even more frustrating when you consider that when we do play a more attacking style of football and go at teams we actually look a decent side.

There's certainly a split amongst supporters as to whether they are happy with Pulis with perhaps a majority of fans now wanting him to leave sooner rather than later. I've no problem with him staying if he buys well during the summer and makes us a little easier on the eye but if his sole intention is for a repeat of what we've seen this season then I'd rather him go.

Similarly, Saido Berahino, is it time to move him on? Especially given some of the fees that are being reportedly offered for him.

It probably is time for him to move on. He's made no secret of the fact he wants out and Baggies' boss Tony Pulis would probably like him gone too if only to provide more funds for his own team building plans. I think he probably will leave during the summer and probably for Spurs with relations between the clubs said to be once again good after something of a falling out because of the player last summer.

There's a few ex-Sunderland players in the West Brom squad currently. How are Sessegnon and Evans getting on? They were big fan favourites during their time here and I was a bit disappointed we didn't move for Evans when he became available.

Jonny Evans has been superb this season, he really has been a class act, and you have to wonder why on earth Manchester United let him go. Plenty of eyebrows were raised when we let Joleon Lescott leave for Aston Villa with the intention of replacing him with Evans but thankfully we definitely had by far the best part of that deal.

As for Sessegnon, none of us expected to see him shining in a Tony Pulis side, especially after Pulis had sidelined him earlier in the season, but after working his way back into the team 'Sess' has been a key figure for us with his workrate improving tremendously. He still has games where his contribution is negligible but when he does 'turn it on' he is a class act.

Any memories from past visits to the Stadium of Light/Roker Park?

I think that the game that stands out for myself, and most other Baggies' fans has to be the 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light back in April 2004 when Jason Koumas hit a late winner to virtually guarantee our return to the Premier League. The 4-2 win in November 2012 was also pretty enjoyable.

Anyone in the Sunderland side you're particularly worried about?

Jermain Defoe - The former England striker always seems to do well against us going as far back as his time with West Ham.

Which West Brom players should Sunderland fans be keeping an eye on during the game?

Saido Berahino is the obvious threat now he has returned to the side and looking more like the player we saw during the 2014/15 season. He reminds me somewhat of Defoe - both players are fantastic finishers of chances.

Our record signing Salomon Rondon has also improved recently following a poor first six months with the club. The jury's certainly still out on him but he will cause problems for the Black Cats' defence.

How do you see yourselves lining up for the game?

I'd imagine Pulis will go with the same team as last time out against Norwich - Foster in goal; Dawson and Evans full-backs; Olsson and McAuley in the centre of defence; Yacob and Fletcher as holding midfielders; Gardner and Sessegnon wide midfielders; Berahino playing just off Rondon up front.

Finally, a prediction please?

I think it's probably safe to say it won't be a classic and I can't see there being many goals. Given Sunderland's need for points I really can't see an away win but a point for the Baggies is more than achievable. I'll go for 1-1.

Thanks to Mark for his time. You can follow Albion Till We Die on Twitter or check out their website.

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