West Bromwich Albion will look to extend their unbeaten run to 13 games with a victory against Brentford at The Hawthorns on Saturday. Brentford arrive in the West Midlands as one of the most in-form teams in the league and will offer top of the table Baggies a stern test when the sides meet.
West Bromwich Albion Host Brentford
West Bromwich Albion Unbeaten Run
The Baggies are unbeaten in their last 12 Sky Bet Championship games, a run stretching back to their solitary defeat of the season against Leeds on October 1st. Nine wins from these 12 fixtures has seen Slaven Bilić’s men march to a 12 point lead over third place. Making them odds on favourites for promotion, even at this early stage of the season.
Albion also hold an impressive unbeaten run at home, stretching beyond the start of this season. They have recorded 16 league matches without defeat at The Hawthorns starting back in February, the club’s longest unbeaten home run since 1920. A tough ask then for Brentford who have never won at The Hawthorns, only earning one draw in 10 visits.
Victory over Fulham last time out sent the Bees into the top four for the first time since September 2018, eleven points behind second-placed Leeds United. Brentford will look to close the gap in the race for promotion to the Premier League and slow the momentum of the runaway leaders.
Thomas Frank’s Brentford side are beginning to find their feet in the promotion battle after an inconsistent start. Their league position is beginning to reflect pre-season expectations but their constant fluctuation between winning or losing makes them a completely unpredictable opponent.
Hot in Front of Goal
Both sides have been blessed with an attacking player finding his shooting boots in recent weeks. Charlie Austin has scored six goals in his last five games for West Brom, four coming from the bench. In total, the frontman has netted seven Sky Bet Championship goals for the Baggies.
Bryan Mbeumo netted for the fourth game in a row as Brentford won the west London derby against Fulham at Griffin Park. He will get opportunities to make it five against a Baggies side that doesn’t keep teams out at home. All five of Albion’s clean sheets this season have come away from home.
Key Men Missing
Albion will be without Kieran Gibbs and Grady Diangana on Saturday, significantly weakening the left side of Bilić’s lineup. Gibbs is expected to return soon but Diangana will be out for at least three games with a back injury. The on-loan West Ham winger is targeting a return for the crunch promotion fixture with Leeds on New Year’s Day.
West Brom’s injury problems and Brentford’s recent impressive form means that the visitors will be able to cause the hosts problems. We’ve seen the Baggies snatch results from poor performances in the last few weeks but they will need to be at the top of their game if they are to win this one.