Berahino bagging braces for Baggies and England U21s
It could be a breakthrough season for West Brom striker Saido Berahino after notching twice on the opening day for West Brom, and then again for the England Under-21s as Gareth Southgate’s side mauled Moldova 3-0 away from home.
Without a doubt, he will have an eye on the England senior squad, competing for a place alongside Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck, and Rickie Lambert, as well as captain Wayne Rooney.
The Baggies are 6/1 with Coral to secure a top 10 finish this term, and that outcome could largely depend on whether Berahino maintains his scoring streak.
At just 21, the time could be right for him to flourish, however the Burundi born attacker is keeping his feet on the ground.
“It’s nice to hear about my record this season and hopefully I can break the total one day, but I just thank god that I’ve contributed to the team,” Berahino said after England’s 3-0 victory in Tiraspol.
“You could see tonight that, even though there were a few changes [to the team], everyone stepped in and did their job.
“It just shows how strong we are as a group, we all gelled together and we all play together and understand each other well,” he continued.
“The group is getting stronger and stronger as games are going by, so it was important that we got the victory and now we can kick on and go into the play-offs with confidence.”
“I’ve played on the left before for my club and I’ve played on the right, so I’m lucky enough that I can play on either side of the striker and up front if I’m required,” Berahino added.
Going into more detail about his contribution against Moldova, he elaborated: “Tonight, it was about going out there and doing what’s required for the team and I was happy to get on the scoresheet.
“I was actually disappointed with myself because I thought I had good chances, especially in the second half, to get my hat-trick.
“I could have got four really, but I’m still happy to have got the two goals and to contribute to the victory.
“I just need to make sure that I go back and work hard on the training pitch to ensure that I take every chance that comes my way.”
England already knew that they had secured top spot in the group and a play-off berth earlier this summer following their win over Wales in Swansea.
Berahino is well aware of the competition he faces for places, and has said that the feel good factor installed by Southgate makes the camp a great place to be.
“The staff, especially the gaffer, have ensured that we’ve been professional about it, even though we’d already qualified with two games left,” he explained.
“We made sure that we finished strongly, that’s what we’ve tried to do and it’s good that we have the momentum to take into the play-offs.”
After an encouraging international break, Berahino returns to action for West Brom, who are 5/2 with Coral to beat Everton at The Hawthorns.