Chris Kamara backing West Brom to reach promised land

Popular pundit Chris Kamara says he fully expects Albion to be a Premier League side next season.

Chris Kamara.
Chris Kamara.

Speaking exclusively to the Express & Star, Kamara believes the Baggies and title rivals Leeds have proven themselves to be the best two teams in the Championship.

And the 62-year-old expects them to finish the job and win promotion to the Premier League when the season resumes following the coronavirus pandemic.

Albion and Leeds both return to action this weekend with Slaven Bilic's side hosting Blues on Saturday while Marcelo Bielsa's men travel to take on Cardiff on Sunday.

"I think it became pretty evident early on that Albion and Leeds are the best two teams in the Championship," Kamara said.

"There have been one or two chomping at their heels - Fulham to name one.

"But consistently those two teams have been the best.

"I have been really impressed with Albion and I fully expect them to go on and finish the job they have started.

"It's not a massive cushion they have got. They are just six points ahead of Fulham. But they have got some excellent players and an excellent manager.

"I think, when it comes to the title, Leeds may benefit more from the break we have had.

"If you look at them towards the end of last season – they ran out of puff a little bit. They weren’t firing at the end of the season like they were at the start of it.

"This break could be a massive benefit to them whereas I'm not sure how it will affect Albion.

"But I still expect them to make it. I'm confident they will be a Premier League side next year."

Kamara, who had a successful spell as manager of Bradford, revealed he is a big fan of Baggies boss Slaven Bilic.

And he thinks the Croatian's humility has been key to his and Albion's success – something Kamara has seen first hand when the pair have appeared on Sky's Goals on Sunday program.

"I know Slaven really well," Kamara continued.

"He has been on Goals on Sunday four or fives times.

"He is a great character, a lovely man and he’s very level headed.

"He’s polite to everyone and a good footballing man.

"You look at his CV as a coach and player. He has done well everywhere he has been.

"It was a coup for the Albion to get him.

"It doesn’t matter what he has achieved in his career or that he’s played in World Cups. There is no ego and he treats all his players the right way."

Meanwhile, the Express & Star can confirm 12-year-old fan Evan Sidaway has been given an iFollow pass so he can watch Albion's nine remaining Championship games.

Baggies season ticket holders have been given the option to exchange their tickets for codes that will allow them to watch the matches online.

But Evan - who is disabled – was initially told he wouldn't get a code because iFollows terms and conditions don't permit anyone under-18 to sign up.

Albion, though, made contact with the EFL to see if they could grant him a code.

And now Evan and another young season ticket holder have been given access.

Kamara spoke to the Express & Star as an ambassador for long-lasting milk brand Arla Cravendale.
The pundit is currently doing commentary work for the dairy producer for their Last Marble Standing Games.
The wacky competition is aiming to provide some light relief in lockdown by finding the marble with the most endurance.
Videos of Kamara commentating on the marble racing event can be seen on the Arla Cravendale social media channels.
The competition is a spin-off of the MarbleLympics which is watched by millions of people around the world.
Events are taking place all this week with the final being staged on Saturday.
"I used to play marbles when I was a kid," Kamara said.
"It was one of the cheapest forms of entertainment for a family that didn't have a lot of money.
"I was approached by Arla Cravendale to see if I would like to be the ambassador for their marble games.
"I spoke to my son Ben to see what he knew about marbles.
"He said: 'It's mega Dad, it's massive, get involved because it's got a really big following.
"So I looked into and it decided I'd love to be the ambassador.
"I used to do commentaries for Sky, 10-years ago which I really enjoyed.
"So when the opportunity arose with Arla Cravendale and The Last Standing Marble games, I thought brilliant - here's a chance to get back in the commentary box.
"And I have loved it and I can see why it has got such a big following.
"It's captivating. It's exciting. And it's been thought through really well.
"My only wish is that we did it a bit earlier because the football is coming back.
"But our final is on Saturday so we have got it in just in time."
For more information on The Last Marble Standing tournament visit: https://www.arlafoods.co.uk/brands/arla-cravendale/last-marble-standing/

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