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Fan Focus - Albion Till We Die Talk SAFC v West Brom

We caught up with Mark from Albion Till We Die to discuss The Baggies new ownership, how the faithful feel about Tony Pulis and how he seems the game going.

Ahead of our game in April last season, you said the fans were quite split on Tony Pulis with regards to whether he should stay or go. There seemed to be some tension early this campaign and it looked like the supporters had fully turned on him, but a couple of good results seemed to have calmed everything down. What's the overall feeling on Big Tone at the moment?

I think the majority of Albion fans would still be happy to see him depart The Hawthorns. The 4-2 win against West Ham certainly won him some respite but a dour defensive performance at Stoke the following week only served to provide his detractors with yet more ammunition to use against him. The West Ham game was actually somewhat frustrating - it did show that we are more than capable of playing decent attacking football and scoring goals when Pulis releases the shackles. If only he did it more often.

There's been new investment in The Baggies for this season as well. What's your thoughts on the new owner, do you think he'll invest enough to make you a stronger force in the league?

It really is a case of wait and see regarding Lai at the moment. No one seems to know much about him or what his intentions are. Seemingly even people with connections to China know little of him. He's kept a low-profile so far, leaving new chairman John Williams to run the club alongside former owner Jeremy Peace who has took on an advisory role.

After years of under-investment by the previous owner it's vital Lai does provide funds to allow us to continue to compete at this level.

Guochuan Lai didn't purchase the club until August, meaning most of the transfer window had been and gone. Was that frustrating because it was a quiet summer for West Brom as far as incomings were concerned?

It was extremely frustrating not only for supporters but clearly Tony Pulis too. He made no secret of the fact that he wanted five quality signings and the fact we ended up with just one clearly irked him leading to rumours of a falling out between Pulis and the club.

We badly needed an injection of pace and creativity into the squad but for the umpteenth transfer window the club's hierarchy failed to deliver.

We picked up Victor Anichebe after he was released from West Brom this summer, of course. Can you say anything inspiring about him that will make us think he's more than a sensible but underwhelming signing?

If you can get him fit and motivated he's an excellent signing. However, the chances of you achieving that are slimmer than slim.

Who should Sunderland fans be keeping an eye on from the West Brom side? Nacer Chadli is the one that springs to mind for me.

Chadli is definitely one to watch for but the player that could have the biggest impact on the game from an Albion point of view is Salomon Rondon. After a unconvincing start to his Baggies career, the big Venezuelan has now found his feet at Premier League level and with his strength and power is proving to be an handful for defenders.

In the Sunderland side, who worries you the most heading into the game?

I'm always weary of any team boasting Jermain Defoe. The former England striker always seems to cause us problems whoever he is playing for.

How Pulis line up the side and how do you think he'll approach the match?

I'd imagine if everyone is fit it will be a repeat of the side that faced Stoke last weekend - Foster in goal, Dawson, McAuley, Evans and Nyom in defence, Fletcher, Yacob, McClean and Phillips across the middle with Rondon up front and Chadli playing off him.

As for tactics, I think it's a safe bet to assume that we will go into the game defensively, hoping to grab a goal from a set-piece and happy to settle for a point.

Score prediction?

0-0 and last on Match of the Day.

Thanks to Mark for taking the time to do this. You can check out Albion Till We Die on their website and follow them on Twitter.

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