Sky Sports EFL pundit David Prutton has predicted that Valerien Ismael’s unbeaten run as West Bromwich Albion boss will continue when his side host Sheffield United tomorrow evening.
The Baggies picked up their first victory of Ismael’s tenure on Saturday as they survived a late Luton Town comeback to win 3-2 at the Hawthorns and move level with league leaders Fulham on four points.
They’ll be staying in the West Midlands for the clash against the Blades, who have endured a tougher start to life under new boss Slavisa Jokanovic.
United were beaten by Birmingham City on the opening weekend and then played out a goalless draw against Swansea City on Saturday.
Ismael doesn’t seem to be limited by any injuries to his squad at the moment but Robert Snodgrass is not likely to feature after playing for the U23s last night.
Jokanovic, on the other hand, looks to be without Enda Stevens, Jack O’Connell, and Lys Moussett due to injury.
On the Sky Sports website, Prutton has predicted that Albion will be too strong for the Blades and beat them 1-0 at the Hawthorns tomorrow evening.
He explained: “It was a first win for Valerien Ismael at the weekend, although it should have been far more comfortable than it was in the end for West Brom against Luton.
“Sheffield United have gotten off to a bit of a slow start under Slavisa Jokanovic. He may need a little patience in reshaping a side that was built in Chris Wilder’s image. Baggies win here for me.”
That result could mean the Baggies go top of the Championship, while United may slide into the bottom three.
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Looking at the way the two sides have started the season, both in terms of results and performances, it’s hard to opt for anything but an Albion win here.
United still look to be finding their feet under Jokanovic, while Ismael seems to have had a more significant impact on his squad so far.
It’s a long season and the Blades are likely to come good under a manager that has had so much success at this level but they may have to wait until the reverse fixture at Bramall Lane to really prove their quality against the Baggies.
That said, Albion let Luton back into the game on Saturday and are by no means the finished product just yet.
United have quality in their squad and they can’t be written off completely here.