Projected starting XI
Ben Foster; Allan Nyom, Jonny Evans, Ahmed Hegazy, Craig Dawson; Claudio Yacob, Jake Livermore; Chris Brunt, James Morrison, Jay Rodriguez; Salomon Rondon
How do you feel about the club's summer transfer business?
There hasn't been a ton of it, which suggests that Tony Pulis likes his squad.
Darren Fletcher has departed, but West Brom anticipated that, buying Jake Livermore in January last season. Jay Rodriguez has arrived and adds needed depth on the wing and up top, but he'll have to compete for a starting place. Egyptian international Ahmed Hegazy arrived on a loan with an option to buy, and the towering center back should get every chance to win himself a permanent move to The Hawthorns.
West Brom's small squad and small spending suggest that more is yet to come, and that the Baggies are just looking for the perfect fits. If a couple more experienced players arrive before the window shuts, West Brom fans will be happy. But if this is it, the window will be considered a failure.
What's the highest reasonable goal the team has and what needs to go right to get there?
Seeing as the club spent the entirety of last season in the top half and didn't lose any star players, anything less than a repeat top half finish would be a disappointment — especially given how the club finished last season. Once relegation was impossible and Europa League was highly unlikely too, the Baggies took their foot off the gas and finished slowly, with five more losses than wins and a negative goal differential.
Pulis knows he has the talent to challenge Everton, Southampton and the like for seventh place. He just needs his team to make that their goal and stay focused for 38 games. The difference between avoiding the drop and an impressive top half finish isn't down to one player or another having a big season, but just the whole squad staying switched on.
Who's a player on the team that neutrals might not know much about, but should become fans of?
There isn't one player that stands out, but rather a handful of them who have a chance to become the club's next big star. The Baggies have an impressive stable of youngsters that look like they might get chances this season — Jonathan Leko and Sam Field already have a decent bit of first team experience, while Tyler Roberts and Kane Wilson might get their first extended looks this year. Given the small nature of the Baggies' squad at the moment, it seems likely that at least one of those players will have a breakout campaign.
Who will be the team's MVP this season, and why?
The criminally underrated Chris Brunt, as always. Brunt can play anywhere in the center or on the left, contributing to all phases of play no matter what his position is. He's technically astute player with a great left foot, a hard worker and extremely intelligent. Brunt has been with the Baggies for a decade and last season was his best during this run in the Premier League. At 32, he's showing no signs of slowing down.
Main photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images