A pretty big weekend in the Sky Bet Championship begins on Friday night when West Bromwich Albion host promotion chasing Huddersfield Town in what is a really important game in the race for the Premier League.
I guess you could call West Brom play-off chasers but they need to sprout wings and fly over the final quarter of the campaign if they are to achieve that. Huddersfield have their sights slightly higher than that but need to keep winning to make this a special season.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football channels with the build-up to the game beginning at 7.30pm and the match itself kicking off at 8pm.
West Bromwich Albion
We all know by now that this isn’t the season that West Bromwich Albion were expecting when they dropped out of the Premier League. It certainly isn’t the one they should be delivering and going into this match they sit eight points off the play-offs with 11 matches to play. The point total is one issue, the other is that they have to overtake seven teams to get into the top six and with sides inevitably playing each other from now until the end of the campaign that is going to be a big ask.
It will certainly need the Baggies to start finding results. They ended a run of seven without a win when they won at Hull last weekend but in front of their own fans they have just one win in five and they won’t be returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking if they don’t improve their home form. The positive was that they scored a couple of goals last week but they need to build on that against a decent opponent before we can assume they have turned the corner.
When you consider that Huddersfield Town had a brief flirt with relegation last season this has already been a wonderful campaign for the Terriers. They won’t want it to end without promotion given the position they have got themselves into though but at the same time they will be all too aware that they need to keep on picking up results. Should they avoid defeat here they will end the evening in second place, although they would have played more matches than anyone in the top 11.
Huddersfield have won their last four in the league and are on a 16 game unbeaten run in the Championship but they did suffer a disappointment in the FA Cup on Monday night and will be out to bounce back from that here. The good thing is they can now concentrate on the league with no distractions which isn’t a position all the promotion chasers are currently in. Huddersfield have won five of their last seven which includes victories at Nottingham Forest and Fulham so they don’t seem to fear anyone on their travels.
Sign up for a Boylesports account to get up to £25 in free bets! Perfect offer for this Sky Bet Championship! Click the image below for this great offer! New accounts only. 18+ T&Cs apply. Gamble Aware.
Steve Bruce confirmed that USA international Daryl Dike has returned to full training but this match comes too soon for him so in a bid for consistency Bruce might name the same XI which won at Hull last weekend.
Huddersfield Town are going to give assessments to Josh Koroma, Levi Colwill and Lewis O’Brien before they name their side although boss Carlos Corberan seems confident all three will be available to feature.
West Bromwich Albion had a good win last week but beating a Hull City side who are still out of their depth a little at this level and potentially already on the beach doesn’t convince me they have turned the corner or anything like that. I think they are very short for this match and as such I’m more than happy to take them on, particularly as they still rely so much on their aerial threat which Huddersfield Town have covered with their defensive options.
Huddersfield have also shown in recent times that they can go away and win at big places and that they can either control possession or win matches on the counterattack and with West Brom still unsure of what they are under Steve Bruce I sense the Terriers can get a result of some kind here. The fact West Brom are still so favoured by the bookmakers means that even a draw nets us a full return so I’m more than happy to be on Huddersfield here.
Back Huddersfield Town (+0.5AH) to beat West Bromwich Albion for a 3/10 stake at 1.94 with Bet365