MX23RW : Friday, October 23 08:36:45| >> :120:62987:62987:
Oct 5, 2019 at 3pm UK at The Hawthorns
Attendance: 25,140
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
CardiffCardiff City
Pereira (20'), Diangana (42'), Austin (71'), Sawyers (93')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Ward (75', 86')

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Cardiff City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City at The Hawthorns, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

West Bromwich Albion will be looking to bounce back from their first Championship defeat of the season when they welcome Cardiff City to The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.

The Baggies have been knocked off top spot as a result of the midweek loss to promotion rivals Leeds United, and they now face a Cardiff side enjoying a steady rise up the table.

Match preview

West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic pictured on September 14, 2019© Reuters

A positive result at the home of Championship favourites Leeds on Tuesday night would have been the biggest statement of West Brom's own title credentials so far, but it was by no means all doom and gloom for the Baggies despite the 1-0 defeat.

Slaven Bilic's side dominated much of the second half at Elland Road and ended the game with more possession than their hosts - a performance which could well have earned them at least point on another occasion.

As it was, the defeat saw West Brom replaced by Leeds at the top of the table, while Swansea City then knocked them down to third 24 hours later, with two points now separating the Midlands outfit from the league leaders.

Not since April have the Baggies lost back-to-back Championship games inside the regular season, though, and they will be favourites to return to winning ways in front of their own fans on Saturday.

Having failed to win any of their opening three home games this term, Bilic's side have since recorded successive victories while scoring seven goals in the process, although the Croatian boss will also want to tighten things up at the back, having failed to keep a clean sheet at The Hawthorns since March - a run of 10 matches.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock on September 28, 2019© Reuters

Cardiff's own improved goalscoring form has come in timely fashion, then, with Neil Warnock's side scoring three goals in a game for the first time in almost a year when they hosted Queens Park Rangers in midweek.

The 3-0 final scoreline perhaps flattered the recently-relegated Bluebirds, with QPR boasting 72% possession in addition to hitting the woodwork twice and having more shots and shots on target than their hosts.

Nevertheless, it was a fourth win of the season for Cardiff and extended their unbeaten streak to seven league games stretching back to August - a run which has lifted them up to 10th and within two points of the playoff places.

The caveat to that run of form ahead of this match is an alarming disparity between their results at home and away - the Bluebirds remain unbeaten in front of their own fans, while they are still looking for their first win of the season on the road.

Indeed, no team has picked up more points at home this season than Warnock's men, whereas only four clubs have fared worse in the road, where Cardiff have accrued only three of their 16 points.

It is a curious quirk therefore that Cardiff's last away win came at Old Trafford in May and, while there has certainly been an improvement in recent weeks with three successive away draws, it looks a tall order for them to end that run this weekend.

West Brom form: DWDWWL

Cardiff form: LDDWDW

Team News

Chris Brunt celebrates scoring for West Bromwich Albion on December 29, 2018© Reuters

West Brom could welcome club captain Chris Brunt and Kieran Gibbs back into contention for this match after both missed the trip to Leeds in midweek.

The duo have returned to training since that defeat, with Brunt recovering from a groin problem and Gibbs overcoming a virus.

Saturday's match will likely come too soon for Ahmed Hegazi to make his first appearance of the season, although he has been called up for international duty with Egypt and so should be ready to return after the break if he comes through unscathed.

Cardiff have no fresh injury concerns for this match and could name an unchanged side, although Callum Paterson will be pushing for a start ahead of Lee Tomlin after his goalscoring cameo off the bench.

Joe Ralls was given the night off against QPR having played through an injury in recent weeks and could again be absent to aid his longer-term recovery.

Alex Smithies appears to have secured the gloves ahead of fit-again goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, while at the other end of the pitch Warnock is expected to keep faith with Gavin Whyte despite Junior Hoilett and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing waiting in the wings.

West Brom possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, Bartley, Ferguson; Livermore, Sawyers; Phillips, Matheus, Diangana; Robson-Kanu

Cardiff possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Peltier, Morrison, Flint, Bennett; Bacuna, Pack; Whyte, Paterson, Murphy; Glatzel

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We say: West Brom 2-0 Cardiff

Cardiff were resolute at the back against QPR in midweek but did also concede a number of shots, something which would be punished more ruthlessly by this West Brom team. Bilic will be demanding a response from his side after their first league defeat of the season, and we are backing them to get it.


Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between West Brom and Cardiff?

West Brom
West Brom
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Chris Brunt celebrates scoring for West Bromwich Albion on December 29, 2018
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