Former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips is backing the Baggies to claim all three points when they make the trip to Deepdale to face Preston North End on Saturday afternoon.
Valerien Ismael’s side go into the game second in the Championship table, with 15 points from their seven games so far, although they were held to a goalless draw by Derby County in midweek.
That stalemate had led to some Baggies fans voicing their frustrations from the stands at full time in midweek, despite their strong start to the campaign.
For their part, Preston start the day 14th in the standings, with eight points after netting a late equaliser to secure a 2-2 draw with Sheffield United on Tuesday night.
However, Phillips is confident that West Brom will return to winning ways on Saturday, but only just, in what he expects to be a tight encounter.
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Issuing his prediction for the game, the ex-England international told West Brom News: “It’ll be a tough match, Deepdale is always a tough place to go and play. I think the biggest thing for Ismael is lifting those players. From the manager’s point of view, this is where the test comes.
“I said all along it’ll be tough for Ismael and now the pressure is on with the crowd giving them a little bit of stick for drawing the last two games.
“Now it’s up to the manager to pick the right team and to get those players to put a performance in. If they respond with a win then it doesn’t look bad but if you draw again, all of a sudden the pressure is on.
“I see West Brom nicking it. They have that little bit more quality than Preston so I can see them putting in a dogged performance and winning it 2-1.”
It does feel somewhat hard to argue with Phillips’ prediction for Saturday’s game here.
West Brom have on of the strongest squads in the Championship this season, and have made a strong start to the campaign, despite that frustration against Derby last time out.
Preston have been solid so far this season on the whole, but they have struggled for goals, so you feel that if West Brom don’t give too much away in defence, they ought to be able to make enough of an impact at the other end of the pitch to take advantage of that.
Indeed, in Jordan Hugill and Callum Robinson, the Baggies also have two former Preston attackers, who will no doubt be keen to make that sort of impression against their former club.