Guess who’s back, back again.. An incredibly pessimistic preview of the weekend is back. Tell a friend. The lads travel up to The Hawthorns this weekend and how things have changed since the last time I penned one of these. Ahead of the QPR game in the week I was actually full of enthusiasm that we had turned a corner and were looking like a team who were willing to work hard to get the right result. Again however against QPR we saw a bewildering team selection followed by a disjointed, flat and abject performance culminating in a defeat against one of our main rivals. Why on earth did Clement change a winning side? I have no idea. To be honest, I think our fans have summed up the mutual feelings on social media in the hours and days following the result of that performance, so anything I say would just be in agreement with most of you. What better time is there then to go to West Brom? I’m shuddering at the prospect.
West Brom currently find themselves sat in fourth place in the league. However, with just one point separating the top four, being in fourth isn’t really a true reflection of just how good they have been at the start of this season. As we have seen frequently in recent seasons with thew Championship getting stronger with more money invested across the league it is harder than ever for relegated sides to get straight back into the top tier. West Brom however seem to be a team equipped better than most to do just that. Darren Moore’s men have quality throughout the squad, none more so than Championship goalscoring specialist Dwight Gayle. Six goals in 10 games is a very impressive record for anyone and it’s clear to see with the other options they have going forward why West Brom have been so clinical this season so far. With Matt Phillips, one time England hopeful Jay Rodriguez and exciting youngsters Jonathan Leko, Oliver Burke and perhaps the most impressive of the three Harvey Barnes. I didn’t include a certain Hal Robson Kanu in that list because quite frankly I can’t bring myself to give him any form of credit with a straight face. Having scored six goals more than the second highest scoring team in the division, keeping a clean sheet this weekend would be a near miracle. It won’t be any easy task going forward either, even with the prolific 0 goals in 9 games Yakou Meite. Premiership quality exists throughout their back line, with Kieran Gibbs, Kyle Bartley, Ahmed Hegazi and Craig Dawson. Strength in depth exists in their midfield as well, but not wanting to simply list their squad, I’ll avoid highlighting the quality there. Put simply, I cannot see any real shortcomings at this level for the Baggies and I’d be amazed to see West Brom do anything but challenge incredibly strongly for the top spot this year
In Darren Moore, they took a risk with a manager who wasn’t just a safe pair of hands, as they have done previously. Regular readers (if there’s such a thing) of my previews will know I have a severe dislike for managers who never really do anything but get jobs based on their name and their “knowledge of the league.” The West Brom board took a brisk with Moore and have been rewarded with a team who score goals, play attractive football and know how to get the right result. Don’t be surprised to see the manager of the month Moore managing at the highest level in the near future, whether that is with West Brom next year or elsewhere.
Prediction time and I’ll keep it short and sweet this week. 3-0 WBA.