STAR PREVIEW Fri: West Bromwich Albion v Birmingham City

West Bromwich Albion take on local rivals Birmingham City at the Hawthorns on Friday night with the knowledge that a victory will see them leapfrog Bournemouth and go to the top of the Championship table.

The Baggies have made an impressive start to life back in the second-tier, sitting second in the table with 22 points from their first 11 matches, but will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Stoke City in their last outing.

After naming an unchanged side from their emphatic victory against struggling Cardiff City, Valerien Ismael’s men failed to live up to the same standards at Stoke with Nick Powell’s 79th-minute strike proving to be decisive.

Front-man Callum Robinson will be coming into this one full of confidence, though. He had a big week on the international stage, netting a hat-trick for the Republic of Ireland in their thumping win 4-0 win over Qatar on Tuesday.

Whilst it’s been a very positive start to the season for the Baggies, Ismael will undoubtedly be demanding more and won’t want his side to pass up the opportunity of going into the weekend top of the Championship table.

West Bromwich Albion v Birmingham City
Championship
20:00 Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Ultra HD

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
JUN 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP West Brom 0-0 Birmingham
DEC 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP Birmingham 2-3 West Brom
MAR 2019 CHAMPIONSHIP West Brom 3-2 Birmingham
SEP 2018 CHAMPIONSHIP Birmingham 1-1 West Brom
JAN 2015 FA CUP Birmingham 1-2 West Brom
MAR 2011 PREMIER LEAGUE Birmingham 1-3 West Brom
SEP 2010 PREMIER LEAGUE West Brom 3-1 Birmingham
MAR 2007 CHAMPIONSHIP West Brom 1-1 Birmingham
OCT 2006 CHAMPIONSHIP Birmingham 2-0 West Brom
MAR 2006 PREMIER LEAGUE Birmingham 1-1 West Brom

Birmingham will be looking to arrest a worrying slide down the Championship table after what had been a bright start to the new campaign under manager Lee Bowyer.

They spanked Luton Town 5-0 in August and were then bolstered by the arrival of local lad Troy Deeney towards the end of the transfer window, but scoring goals has been a big issue for Bowyer’s side of late.

They have failed to score in their last five games, a run that has seen the Blues pick up just one point from a possible 15, and slide down the table to 15th-position and just four points above the drop-zone.

A victory over West Brom would be the perfect way to bounce back and could well provide a much-needed springboard for Blues, but it’s hard to see them overcoming their West Midlands rivals on current form.

We’re backing Birmingham’s poor run of form in front of goal to continue with West Brom heading to the top of the table with a win to nil on Friday night and Callum Robinson to score anytime.

RECOMMENDED BETS
BACK West Brom to win to nil 2pts at 8/5 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK Callum Robinson to score anytime 1pt at 6/4 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


PROFIT/LOSS (OCTOBER 2021): PROFT 7.16 points
(Excluding ante-post recommendations CLICK HERE)


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