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Talking points as West Brom impress to make their point against Watford

Albion fans purred as their side put in one of their finest attacking displays in some time in during the 1-1 draw against Watford.

Okay Yokuslu during his second debut for Albion, from the bench against Watford. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Okay Yokuslu during his second debut for Albion, from the bench against Watford. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Karlan Grant cancelled out Ismaila Sarr's 60-yard wondergoal to earn Steve Bruce's men a point in their Hawthorns opener – the least the hosts deserved.

We've had a look at some of the talking points as Albion started their home campaign for 2022/23 with a bang.

1) Wallace delivery

A competitive home debut for the former Millwall and Wolves man and he showed more of exactly what is to come from that right flank.

The winger's delivery was on the money on almost every occasion – and his team-mates were all too keen to feed him the ball to attack the helpless Watford backline, with impressive right-back Darnell Furlong supporting well.

Albion should have scored from at least one of his crosses. That particular weapon is sure to be a regular source of ammunition this term.

2) Grant persistence

If at first you don't succeed... Albion's No.18 showed once more why persistence is a key attribute for any goalscorer.

Grant spurned a golden chance from close range inside five minutes, with Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann a huge presence, before the striker helped wide on the stretch from Wallace's cross.

Bruce was right that the effort he did convert, on the stroke of half-time, was the toughest of the lot. But the run, control and finish over Bachmann were all done very smartly.

3) Yokuslu return

Supporters hoped the returning Turk might have won a nod from the off, but a 15-minute cameo was more than enough to whet the appetite.

In his second debut for the Baggies, the fans' favourite strode around in his physically imposing style, with one piece of subtle and skilful control totally outfoxing a Hornets man. He could forge an exciting partnership with the impressive Jayson Molumby.

And what a chant it is..."he comes from sunny Spain, to play at Halfords Lane."

4) Raucous Hawthorns

There is always optimism and excitement in the air for the first home game of a new season.

But Bruce's men laid down a marker for the new season in some style right from the off here – against one of the Championship's most fancied outfits.

From the moment Furlong forced a corner and cracked a volley goalwards inside a couple of minutes Albion were relentless with their pressing, attacking and off-the-ball work.

The home fans lapped it up in responded vocally. It was a loud old evening under the lights in B71. The loudest in a good while.

5) Pereira watching brief

There was a particularly familiar face spotted in the crowd at The Hawthorns as well as the car parks both before and after the game.

Creative Brazilian magician Matheus Pereira, a firm favourite during his recent spell at Albion, popped back to the Black Country to support his old team and colleagues.

The 26-year-old now plays for Al Hilal, in the Saudi Pro League, which is currently on a summer break. Pereira, who made 77 appearances across a loan and permanent spell between 2019 and 2021, smiled with fans as he posed for pictures and Tweeted a picture of his bird's eye view.

6) Dike blow

Albion supporters' worst fears were confirmed ahead of kick-off with the new Daryl Dike will spend more time on the sidelines with a fresh injury setback.

The club are waiting to discover the exact extent of the striker's thigh problem but Bruce hinted at its severity on a couple of occasions.

The boss said he will speak with Ron Gourlay as to how the setback affects transfer plans. It was interesting to hear Bruce say he hadn't otherwise planned to bring a striker in. Surely now Albion must require another option up front?

Callum Robinson was back in the fold and an unused substitute after injury. He may have a chance to kickstart his Albion career again, though free-to-leave frontman Kenneth Zohore is still sidelined and unavailable.

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