Sky Sports pundit Jobi McAnuff has admitted that he believes that West Bromwich Albion will deliver a response to their recent defeat to Stoke City when they host Birmingham City at The Hawthorns on Friday.
The Baggies have made an encouraging start to the 2021/22 campaign under the guidance of manager Valerien Ismael who has decided to utilise a distinctive style of play in the club’s fixtures this season.
As well as pressing their opponents in the final-third, West Brom have managed to score a number of goals from set-pieces in the Championship.
After winning six of their opening 10 league fixtures, the Baggies suffered their first major setback of the season earlier this month as they were beaten by Stoke at the bet365 Stadium.
West Brom will now be determined to bounce back from this defeat later this week when they face a Birmingham side who have failed to win any of their last five league games.
By picking up all three points in this particular fixture, the Baggies will move above AFC Bournemouth in the Championship standings.
Making reference to West Brom, McAnuff has admitted that he believes that the club will be able to get back on track against a Birmingham outfit who are currently struggling for consistency in the Championship.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast, the former Reading player said: “I watched them against Cardiff [City] previously and they were fantastic, West Brom, that was what I expected to see from them.
“I certainly expect them to get back to that against a Birmingham side that is struggling at the moment.
“I think it’s a good game for West Brom to get back on track.
“Again, a derby, a big game and I expect that energy to be fully charged after this international break.”
Whilst West Brom are still adapting to Ismael’s style of play, they have already illustrated some real signs of promise this season and thus it wouldn’t be at all surprising if they outclass their opponents on Friday.
Lee Bowyer’s side have been extremely poor in recent weeks and may crumble under pressure if the Baggies take the game to them at The Hawthorns.
Ismael could potentially turn to the likes of Callum Robinson and Karlan Grant for inspiration in this particular fixture.