The second weekend of the Sky Bet Championship season concludes on Monday night when two of the bigger clubs in the division meet at The Hawthorns as West Bromwich Albion play host to Watford in the standout match of the round.
West Brom opened their season with a 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough last week and will be looking for a first win in their opening home match of the new term. Watford edged out Sheffield United a week ago and will be hoping to back that up here.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football channels with the build-up to it beginning at 7.30pm and the kick off coming at 8pm.
After completely bombing their first chance of promotion back to the Premier League, West Brom will be out to make it second time lucky this season. When someone with the calibre and CV of Steve Bruce is employed promotion can be the only aim so there is a certain amount of pressure on the Baggies this term and it will be interesting to see if Bruce has assembled a squad which can deal with that. He has certainly made some appealing additions to his playing ranks.
John Swift and Jed Wallace were two of the better players in the division with other clubs last season and they have already made an impact with their new club this term. They are going to create plenty of chances for the forward players of West Brom this season so you would imagine if the Baggies can stay strong at the back then they will be one of the teams pushing for promotion. They weren’t at their best in the opening match but they showed good character to get a point from it.
West Brom aren’t the only ones under a lot of pressure this season. Managers are always under pressure at Watford but Rob Edwards will certainly be under it because he is the first one in the hotseat looking to get the Hornets back to the Premier League. History would suggest he won’t be the only one in that position this season but he could give himself longer in the job if he can get off to a decent start.
Watford got the better of Sheffield United last week but I highlighted going into that game that pretty much all the teams who finished last term late struggled on the opening round of the campaign and that was how it proved for Sheffield United. In the main they have all looked better this week so I think the Hornets will need to elevate their game to get something from this one. They could be a very dangerous side on the road though with their front three potentially as dangerous as anything in the competition.
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West Brom summer signing Okay Yokuslu is still working his way up to full speed so he isn’t expected to play a role in this match while Kean Bryan is out injured. Daryl Dike started on the bench last week and will be hoping for a more prominent role here.
Watford are going to be missing midfielder Imraan Louza for this match but in the main Rob Edwards has a full squad to pick from. That squad could include new signing Mario Gaspar who is in line to make his debut.
It is still a little early in the season to be confident of a winner in this match and indeed who it will be but you would imagine that the home advantage that West Brom have this week will be more useful to them than last week where they were sent on a long journey to the Riverside. I’m wary of the danger the pacey Watford front three carry though, although I’m far from convinced that the Hornets are going to be anything great defensively.
That makes me think the best bet in this match is for both teams to score. The Championship was devoid of goals and even goal chances last weekend but it has reverted to type this time around with goals coming a lot more readily which suggests everyone has come on for the run. If these two have done that as well then there is more than enough quality in the attacking areas of these two sides to threaten finding the back of the net. I fancy both will be better going forward than defending this term so both teams to score looks the way to play this one.
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