The first fixture of the Sky Bet Championship weekend presents a clash between two promotion rivals on Friday night, as West Bromwich Albion prepare to host West Midlands counterparts Aston Villa at The Hawthorns.
Darren Moore’s Baggies go into the fixture on the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Brentford, where the Bees struck in injury time to end a run of three successive league wins.
Aston Villa, on the other hand, are a side revitalised under Dean Smith – their impressive 3-0 away win at promotion rivals Middlesbrough last weekend was their fourth win in five league games.
It’s bound to be a cracker at The Hawthorns between two sides who know where the goal is, but what does Sky Sports pundit David Prutton think? The former Sheffield Wednesday man has predicted a 2-2 draw.
“West Brom won’t believe they didn’t beat Brentford on Monday night, especially with the amount of chances they managed to miss in the first half.”
“Aston Villa can’t stop scoring at the moment and Tammy Abraham is absolutely flying up front. It’s not easy to score once against Middlesbrough and they put three past them last Saturday! You feel there should be a fair few goals in this one but I can’t split the two teams. Score draw.”
Albion currently sit 3rd in the Sky Bet Championship table, four points off the automatic promotion places, whereas the Villans now sit 8th in the league, three points off the playoff places.
I can’t help but agree with Prutton on this one.
Aston Villa have conceded 30 goals in the league this term, whereas Albion are the top scorers in the league having netted 42 times – but after scoring 17 in their last five matches, Villa will be fancying their chances here.
I can see a team nicking it 3-2 either way.