Advertising

West Brom run-in: Predicting Albion's final fixtures

By Luke Hatfield | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

West Brom get back to Championship action this weekend, with a nine-game run-in determining whether or not promotion will be achieved.

How will Albion manage the run-in?

Sitting just a single point behind league-leaders Leeds United and six points clear of Fulham in third, the Baggies are in prime position to push on and secure their place in the Premier League next season.

With that in mind, Luke Hatfield has taken a look at the Baggies' home straight, to predict just how they'll do post-lockdown.

Birmingham City (H)

Charlie Austin stole the show for Albion against Blues before. (AMA)

For Albion fans, the big derbies tend to come against Wolves and Aston Villa - Birmingham City is definitely third in the pecking order.

Without fans at The Hawthorns, the traditional derby atmosphere will be nowhere to be seen.

It was a real cracker between the sides at St. Andrew's earlier this season, with Charlie Austin inspiring Albion to a thrilling 3-2 win.

Advertising

Given that Blues aren't necessarily safe yet, they do have something to play for - but with moves behind the scenes at the club, you do wonder whether they have the same fire behind them that Albion do.

It's tough to gauge the first game back, but the Baggies should take all three points in this one.

Prediction: Win (3-0)

Brentford (A)

Advertising

Brentford are a real promotion challenger (AMA)

Brentford have been fantastic for yet another season on a budget far lower than some of the heavy-hitters in the Championship.

Incredibly dangerous with some of the players in their ranks, and still well in the promotion fight, albeit ten points behind Albion.

This will not be an easy game for Slaven Bilic's side, but hopefully given a game to shake off the rust, the Baggies will be in full flow for the trip to London.

Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma are players that can cause serious issues for any team at this level - you'd take a point here, but it's a tough old game against a very good side.

Prediction: Defeat (1-2)

Sheffield Wednesday (A)

Liam Palmer of Sheffield Wednesday and Grady Diangana of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

You could argue the suspension of the season came at a perfect time for the Owls, having just been on the receiving end of a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Brentford before lockdown.

Form definitely goes out the window now, but having restarted and got 180 minutes in the tank, both teams will be in some kind of groove - good or bad.

It's now or never for Garry Monk's side in terms of a play-off push, if results go their way before this fixture, they could have real motivation to get a result.

Of course, if they don't start well you'd think that they'll have little to play for come this encounter.

Prediction: Win (2-1)

Hull City (H)

Jake Livermore put in a captain's performance against his former side last time around (AMA).

Things do not look good for Hull right now - and it's fair to say Tigers fans would be hoping the season was ended during lockdown given their alarming form.

Sitting 21st in the table and not having won a game in the league since New Year's Day, a wise man would bet on them dropping to League One.

Having sold off their prize assets in Jarrod Bowen and now-Albion man Kamil Grosicki, Hull managed to concede nine goals in their last two games before lockdown, scoring just once.

If you want to face any side in the run-in, Hull are probably your first pick - this should be a Baggies win.

Prediction: Win (3-0)

Derby (H)

Darnell Furlong of West Bromwich Albion battles with Kelle Roos and Krystian Bielik of Derby County. (AMA)

Derby have failed to hit the heights of last season, in which they made it all the way to the play-off final at Wembley - losing 2-1 to Aston Villa.

But with some serious talent on their books, namely in the shape of one Wayne Roooney - they're more than capable of troubling any side in the division.

Just five points off the play-off spots as the league gets back to action, there's no doubt that they'll have something to play for.

The sides fought out a draw in the East Midlands, it wouldn't be a surprise to see a similar result.

Prediction: Draw (2-2)

Blackburn Rovers (A)

Matt Phillips of West Bromwich Albion beats Greg Cunningham of Blackburn Rovers (AMA)

Blackburn have been an interesting side this season, and are definitely in with a shout of a play-off place at the moment - although five games into the run-in we'll know much more about their credentials.

If they have a decent start and stay within touching distance of the top six, this will be a tough contest for Albion.

Add the fact that a memorable name in Tony Mowbray remains in charge at Ewood Park and this is a game which could quite easily be a tricky one to navigate.

The first clash between the sides was quite the game, it could go any way this time around.

Prediction: Draw (1-1)

Fulham (H)

Steven Sessegnon of Fulham and Matheus Pereira of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

This has the potential to be a massive game at the top of the table.

Fulham have the feel of West Brom last season about them, with plenty of quality in their side - but not quite the finished article.

They remain Albion's closest rival outside of the top two right now, it would be no surprise to see that remain the case for the rest of the season - although Brentford could have plenty to say about that.

At The Hawthorns though, Albion could earn a huge result this day.

Prediction: Win (2-1)

Huddersfield Town (A)

Jonathan Hogg of Huddersfield Town blocks Grady Diangana of West Bromwich Albion's shot (AMA)

Albion fans will hope that by the time this game comes around, all is done and dusted in terms of promotion.

It'll be the same for Terriers fans too - albeit at the other end of the table.

Huddersfield sit precariously above the drop zone in 18th. Given the struggles they've had, it's fair to say you don't know whether they'll be clear of trouble with two games left.

Albion came out winners last time around, you'd expect a similar result.

Prediction: Win (3-1)

QPR (H)

Eberechi Eze of Queens Park Rangers and Romaine Sawyers of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

The final game of the season comes at home against QPR - and being so far off it's hard to predict just how both sides will be shaped up by this point.

QPR are not without a long shot for the play-off places at the moment, but could be anywhere by this point.

Albion meanwhile, should previous predictions come in, should have secured promotion - given Fulham don't pull off a remarkable run.

If that's the case, you don't imagine many Albion players will be diving into 50-50 challenges. You'd probably take a draw.

Prediction: Draw (2-2)

Luke Hatfield

By Luke Hatfield

Digital Sports Journalist with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News