Football League expert, The Betting Desk, preview Saturday's Championship match between West Brom and Millwall
In my view the Baggies are the team to beat this year in the Championship. I had my doubts if the players would want to adapt to the new tactics and shape that new manager Valerien Ismael would enforce, but they have done so with easy. In fact, they have reveled in it.
Sometimes when a side gets relegated there can be a hangover due to downward momentum, players and fans feeling sorry for themselves, but this hasn’t been the case here.
So far, it’s all looked very impressive so far with W4-D1-L0 so far this term, what’s more impressive for me is they have had a tricky start on paper with games against Sheffield Utd and Bournemouth, two of the top six ante post favorites along with Luton, who many were predicting as dark horses for a top six finish and then a well deserved but tight win at Peterborough.
I have the Baggies in 2nd place on xPTS and only Fulham have created more non penalty xG than them so far this term.
They are a physical team that likes to press from the front and all over the pitch and whilst there are some fans who might say they are over reliant on set pieces to win games with their efficient delivery from free kicks, corners and long throws they do have quality all over the pitch.
No side has had more shots from set pieces than the Baggies this season with nine per match, next on the list is Birmingham and Coventry with 5.4 each.
Millwall aren’t bad opponents and will finish the season higher than their current position of 17th with W1-D2-L2, but their only win has been against newly promoted Blackpool.
The Lions have generated a xG of just 0.88 so far and only scored two or more goals in one game this season. I think to take anything from this game they may well have to score at least twice.
Both sides are coming into the game with injury concerns and the Baggies will need to shuffle players around as both Dara O’Shea and Matt Clarke are expected to miss out so goals could well be on the cards for both sides here.
Millwall have managed to find the net in every game and with the Baggies struggling for fit centre backs we may see them get on the score sheet, but I can’t see the hosts not doing the same given they sit in the top three for shots on target, shots in the box and shots on target from within the box.
The Baggies are aiming for promotion back to the Premier League this season. There will be better sides that struggle to deal with WBA this season and I am worried about who might be good enough to stop the Baggies ending the season as one of the two promoted clubs back to the premier league.
WBA to win and over 1.5 goals is 10/11 with Bet365 and this looks a good angle in.
The hosts could easily score two or three goals themselves but given that Millwall have scored in every game despite the low xG and the defence issues they find themselves with this weekend over 1.5 goals is a decent play.
- WBA to win and Over 1.5 goals 10/11 (Bet365)