West Bromwich Albion welcome Hull City to the Hawthorns this afternoon in a game which could have big implications for both the race for promotion and the relegation battle.
West Bromwich Albion Host Hull City in Important Clash For Both Teams
Plenty at Stake as the Season’s End Approaches
With half a dozen matches to go until the end of the Championship season, West Brom have a strong chance of earning promotion back to the Premier League. The Baggies have spent almost the entire campaign inside the top two positions, and currently sit in second place behind Leeds United.
Albion’s first two games of the restart did not go to plan as they picked up just one point and failed to score a goal in either game. However, they crucially got back to winning ways on Wednesday evening with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
On the other hand, Hull find themselves in serious danger of relegation to League One. Grant McCann’s side had a successful first half of the season and were loitering just outside the top six in December, but a horrendous slump in form in 2020 has seen them slide into trouble.
The Tigers’ run of 13 league games without a win – which stretches all the way back to New Year’s Day – finally ended on Thursday as they beat survival rivals Middlesbrough 2-1 at the KCOM Stadium. Mallik Wilks’ stoppage-time winner saw Hull rise above Boro and out of the drop zone, and they will need to build on that result if they wish to avoid relegation to the third tier.
When these two sides met back in November, the Baggies came away from Humberside with all three points, as a first-half strike from Jake Livermore sealed a 1-0 victory.
West Brom boss Slaven Bilic is believed to have a near fully-fit squad available for the visit of the Tigers. Jonathan Leko and Nathan Ferguson are the only two players certain not to feature, as both youngsters are out with long-term injuries.
Meanwhile, Hull could be without Herbie Kane and Callum Elder for their trip to the West Midlands, after both were substituted inside the first 45 minutes of Thursday’s game against Middlesbrough. Irish defender Sean McLoughlin could be operated at left-back should Elder miss out.
Hull displayed great resolve by coming from behind to defeat Middlesbrough in a vital match on Thursday, and that should give them some belief that survival is achievable.
However, West Brom should have enough to overcome the Tigers. The Baggies have only lost six times in the league this term, and were clinical in front of goal in their win over the Owls. If the likes of Charlie Austin and Matheus Pereira are provided with decent service again, Hull could struggle.
Prediction: West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Hull City