West Brom host Cardiff City at the Hawthorns on Saturday as they look to put the first loss of their 2019/20 Championship campaign behind them.
Slaven Bilic’s men went to Elland Road in midweek on a hot streak of nine games without defeat, but Ezgjan Alioski’s deflected strike was enough to see Leeds United leapfrog the Baggies into first position. That was before Swansea claimed it a day later.
They now return to their west Midlands home having been faced with back-to-back away trips, and it will be no easy feat as the Bluebirds come to town having not lost themselves in seven straight league matches.
Albion dominated the second half against Leeds, recording 67.3% possession and seven shots, per WhoScored, but they just couldn’t find a way through.
So, will the Croatian be pushed towards making any substantial changes for this weekend?
The Baggies will feel hard done by to not come away with at least a point, they’ve even been handed glowing praise from Marcelo Bielsa, who called them the best side in the Championship this season.
It’s unlikely that Bilic will change much of his defence, certainly not the goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who at times kept West Brom in the match despite all of their dominance.
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Jake Livermore and Romaine Sawyers weren’t at their best in that match recording WhoScored ratings of 5.92 and 6.62 respectively, but with the lack of options in that role, they should keep their places – it could well be just one bad game after all.
The only changes from the side on Tuesday night should be in attack as young Kyle Edwards and the elder Charlie Austin come back into the line-up.
The £4m summer signing didn’t even come on as a substitute, so he should be the freshest option as he replaces Hal Robson-Kanu in a key area upfront.