West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City will face off at the Hawthorns on Tuesday in a Championship match as both teams aim to secure a spot in the Premier League through the playoffs.
West Brom’s form has been inconsistent this year, as demonstrated by their recent draw against Ipswich Town.
Although they were on track for an away win, Ipswich equalized in added time. Tom Fellows, an academy graduate, scored the opening goal for West Brom, but they were unable to secure maximum points.
Despite their strong performances, West Brom currently holds only a two-point lead over seventh-placed Sunderland in the race for a playoff spot. They have been one of the best teams in the division, excluding the top four teams.
Brandon Thomas-Asante has taken on the role of leading West Brom’s attacking line due to injuries. He has scored nine goals in 28 appearances this season.
West Brom has been dominant at home, winning their last four league matches at The Hawthorns with a combined score of 7-1.
Cardiff City, on the other hand, has struggled to secure a home win in their last five Championship matches. They suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat against Preston in their previous game, with Emil Riis Jakobsen and Ben Whiteman scoring for Preston.
Erol Bulut’s side is currently in 14th place in the Championship standings, seven points behind sixth-placed Coventry City and 11 points ahead of the relegation zone.
Although Cardiff City has not won any of their last five matches at The Hawthorns, they have managed to earn back-to-back draws in the Black Country since West Brom’s return to the Championship in 2021.
Daryl Dike sustained an Achilles injury in West Brom’s game against Ipswich and will be sidelined with a long-term injury.
Grady Diangana, who participated in the Africa Cup of Nations, has returned to England. Kyle Bartley was forced off at halftime against Ipswich, which could mean Okay Yoksulu partners with Cedric Kipre in central defense.
Aaron Ramsey, who came on as a substitute in the second half against Preston, may earn a start for Cardiff City, marking his first start in four months.
Ryan Wintle and Josh Bowler are likely candidates to be substituted, as Cardiff integrates their January signings into the team.
Mark McGuinness is expected to be out for up to eight weeks due to a hamstring injury, allowing Nat Phillips to continue in the center-back position.
Possible Starting Lineups
West Bromwich Albion:
Furlong, Yokuslu, Kipre, Townsend;
Chalobah, Mowatt, Wallace;
Weimann, Fellows, Thomas-Asante
Ng, Goutas, Phillips, Collins;
Wilson-Esbrand, Siopis, Ramsey, Turnbull, Grant;
Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Cardiff City
West Brom’s strong defensive record at The Hawthorns should give them the edge, despite the potential impact of Cardiff’s new signings and Aaron Ramsey’s return.