The Sky Bet Championship weekend rounds off with a Monday night clash which sees two out of form sides looking for a much needed win when West Bromwich Albion welcome Swansea City to The Hawthorns.
These two sides have just four wins in 20 matches between them so it goes without saying that both will be looking to find something in this encounter to perk them up a little ahead of the final quarter of the campaign.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football channels. The lead up begins at 7.30pm ahead of an 8pm kick off at The Hawthorns.
West Bromwich Albion
West Brom come into this match with just one win in 11 matches and that came against a Peterborough United side who are pretty average it has to be said. The big concern for anyone following the Baggies is that they have scored just five goals in that time and three of them came in that win over Peterborough. West Brom started the season as a truly terrible watch under Valerien Ismael and have got worse the longer it has gone on.
That is expected to change now that Steve Bruce has taken over and they did enjoy the positive of finally getting back on the scoresheet last week after five games without a goal although that was in vain as they lost again. I sensed at Luton the week before that everything was about to hit rock bottom for the Baggies so in the coming weeks I expect them to being the turnaround but whether that can come soon enough or be big enough to get into the top six is hugely doubtful.
The Swans are probably in a better place than West Brom right now but they themselves are nowhere near where they would have wanted to be. They sit in the bottom third of the table but are 15 points above the drop zone so they are not in any danger of going down this season but unfortunately for them they are in no place to be going up either. They will get some slack because Russell Martin is trying to adopt his own approach but they need to finish this campaign well in order to provide belief going into the next one.
Swansea’s big problems come in their away form. They started the season with an early road win, albeit at their relatively close rivals Bristol City, but have only won twice on their travels since then. As they go to pitches which have cut up a bit they find it hard to impose their possession based game on their opponents and have been found out as a result. Their defence therefore has to do more defending on the road and it has succumbed to the pressure all too often.
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West Bromwich Albion have their skipper Jake Livermore back for this encounter and he might well slot straight back in for Jayson Molumby. Matt Clarke and Darnell Furlong will be hoping for recalls after being left out against Middlesbrough.
Swansea City could have Kyle Naughton and Hannes Wolf back for the trip to The Hawthorns. Naughton has been out since the Luton game at the beginning of the month while Wolf missed the loss at Sheffield United. Nathanael Obgeta is out.
This isn’t an easy match to bet on. West Bromwich Albion are odds on to win the game and a lot of the early season metrics would suggest that will happen but you’d need to be a brave man to back a side who have only found the net five times in their last 11 matches and you’d be a silly one to do it at the prices they have been chalked up at. The same could probably be said about backing Swansea who have the fourth worst away record in the entire division.
That leads me to the side markets for a bet on this game where I’ll take advantage of the 7/2 quotes on Flynn Downes to be booked. To say the Swansea City midfielder is a card magnet might be doing the former Ipswich Town player a disservice. Over the past two seasons and first two thirds of this one Downes has picked up no fewer than 25 yellow cards and two red cards. That is in 79 appearances so he is effectively going along at getting booked every third game, making the 7/2 he is presented with a card value. West Brom matches tend to get feisty in the middle of the park and this all-action midfielder won’t need a second invitation to get stuck in. He’s overpriced for a card here.
Back F.Downes to be booked for a 1/10 stake at 4.50 with Betfair
Back him here: