West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke expects a tough opener next season against Southampton.

Clarke is glad to be at The Hawthorns on the weekend of August 17. But he expects a difficult test.

"It's always nice to start the season at home so I'm pleased with that," said Clarke.

"Every game in the Premier League is a big challenge and it won't be any different this season.

"We took six points off Southampton last season and hopefully that run can continue - but we had to work very hard for those wins.

"Southampton spent big 12 months ago and it looks as though this summer won't be any different.

"They have already splashed the cash to sign a defender and they're one of the teams that will be looking to improve on last season and finish above us."