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Oct 5, 2019 at 3pm UK
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
4-2
CardiffCardiff City
Pereira (20'), Diangana (42'), Austin (71'), Sawyers (93')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Ward (75', 86')
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Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Cardiff City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: 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

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'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

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


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.


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Championship Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Leeds UnitedLeeds41239963342978
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom412114671403177
3Brentford412191173334072
4Fulham4120101155441170
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest411814954411368
6Cardiff CityCardiff41161695851764
7Derby CountyDerby411613125653361
8Swansea CitySwansea411515115248460
9Millwall411417104844459
10Preston North EndPreston411610155250258
11Blackburn RoversBlackburn411511155653356
12Bristol City411510165360-755
13Queens Park RangersQPR41158186066-653
14Reading411410175348552
15Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds411410175056-652
16Wigan AthleticWigan411311174553-850
17Birmingham CityBirmingham411213165164-1349
18Stoke CityStoke41137215461-746
19Charlton AthleticCharlton411210194655-946
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield411210194963-1446
21Hull City41129205672-1645
22Middlesbrough411014174053-1344
23Barnsley411011204566-2141
24Luton TownLuton41117234678-3240
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool33292272254789
2Manchester CityMan City33213981344766
3Leicester CityLeicester33177963313258
4Chelsea331761060441657
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd331510856332355
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33131374536952
7Arsenal33121384941849
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs33139115244848
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd33121293433148
10Burnley33137133746-946
11Everton33128134048-844
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle331110123545-1043
13Southampton33134164255-1343
14Crystal Palace33119132840-1242
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton33812133544-936
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3387184058-1831
17Watford33610172952-2328
18Aston Villa3376203662-2627
19Bournemouth3376203259-2727
20Norwich CityNorwich3356222561-3621
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