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Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Harrogate Town - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's EFL Cup second round tie between West Bromwich Albion and Harrogate Town, including team news and injury news.

West Bromwich Albion head into Wednesday's EFL Cup second round tie with Harrogate Town eager to bounce back from their defeat to Leicester City in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Harrogate have quickly settled into life in the fourth tier, starting their first ever League Two campaign with a 4-0 victory at Southend United.

Match preview

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic on June 20, 2020© Reuters

When West Brom were provided with a home encounter against the Foxes in their first encounter back in the top flight, Slaven Bilic would have been optimistic that adrenaline would help their cause against last season's fifth-placed side.

However, Bilic quickly discovered that the Baggies have much work to do if they are to ensure that their return to the Premier League is not a brief one with his team perhaps fortunate to only lose by a 3-0 scoreline.

Although it took two Jamie Vardy penalties to put the result beyond doubt, West Brom looked fragile at the back, and it will only encourage Bilic to take a risk on the signing of veteran defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Nevertheless, with a new striker also on his agenda, Bilic finds himself having to make decisions regarding the make-up of his squad, aware that the club have to strike a balance regarding the funds which are made available to him over the coming weeks.

With Everton on the agenda on Saturday afternoon, Bilic will make wholesale changes to his starting lineup on Wednesday, something which will only offer encouragement to their next opponents.

After winning the National League playoff final just a month ago, Harrogate are still riding a crest of a wave as they continue to make the transition into a league club.

The penalty-shootout success at Tranmere Rovers in the previous round came as a bonus, and Simon Weaver would have been ecstatic with how his players disposed of Southend at the weekend.

However, Weaver has a job on his hands to manage both expectations and the upcoming schedule, which also includes an FA Trophy semi-final against Notts County next week.

Although that could lead to a few alterations being made for this contest, West Brom will not relish the task of facing a team who are playing with belief and have little to lose on their big night at The Hawthorns.

West Bromwich Albion form (all competitions): L

Harrogate Town EFL Cup form: D
Harrogate Town form (all competitions): DW

Team News

West Bromwich Albion's Charlie Austin celebrates scoring their second goal with Hal Robson-Kanu on December 14, 2019© Reuters

Bilic will almost certainly revert to four at the back for this contest, a move which will see defenders drop out of the first XI.

David Button and Cedric Kipre will likely be handed their debuts, while Rekeem Harper and Kyle Edwards should be recalled in midfield.

In order to give game time to both Hal Robson-Kanu and Charlie Austin, Bilic may go with a front two.

As for Harrogate, changes feel inevitable with important matches against Walsall and Notts County to come within six days of Wednesday's game.

Veteran forward Jon Stead should come into the attack, with Tom Walker getting the nod on the left-hand side of midfield.

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Button; Furlong, Kipre, Hegazi, O'Shea; Grosicki, Sawyers, Harper, Edwards; Robson-Kanu, Austin

Harrogate Town possible starting lineup:
Minter; Fallowfield, Smith, Lokko, Jones; Thomson, Falkingham, Kirby, Walker; Beck, Stead

SM words green background

We say: West Bromwich Albion 4-2 Harrogate Town

Given their respective ambitions, we expect goals in this match and plenty of them. However, while Harrogate are playing with the confidence which will concern the Baggies at one end, we feel that the home side will have too much firepower for their lower-league opponents at the other.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:curl


Who will progress through to the third round of the EFL Cup?

West Bromwich Albion
Harrogate Town
West Bromwich Albion
Harrogate Town
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West Brom manager Slaven Bilic on June 20, 2020
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