West Brom v Derby: Promotion-chasing pair to put on a spectacle

Slaven Bilic - West Brom
Only Loftus Road (3.52) has seen more goals per-game than The Hawthorns (3.25)

Promotion-chasing pair West Brom and Derby go head-to-head at The Hawthorns on Wednesday evening. Mark O'Haire oversees the key Championship clash.

"A massive 14 (70%) of those matches here have also paid out for Both Teams To Score backers with Albion earning a surprisingly measly three clean sheets as hosts"

West Brom v Derby
Wednesday July 8, 17:00
Sky Sports

West Brom remain on-track

West Brom restored their five-point cushion over the play-off-chasing pack on Sunday as the Baggies beat basement battlers Hull 4-2 at The Hawthorns. Albion were twice pegged back by equalisers from but the individual quality in Slaven Bilic's side shone through with scorer Charlie Austin, Ahmed Hegazi, Kamil Grosicki and Grady Diangana all on the scoresheet.

The Championship's second top scorers showcased their attacking threat with Matheus Pereira again pulling the strings with a hat-trick of assists. The Baggies have also now had 20 different goalscorers this season, and despite finishing the fixture with 10 men after Hegazi was shown a second yellow card, their fate remains very much in their own hands.

Post-match Bilic said: "All the pressure is on us and Leeds. The others are hoping. But we have to cope with it and we wouldn't swap places with any of them. On the ball, we were excellent, we created so many chances. But they put us under pressure with a simple way of playing, long ball, second ball, quick attacks, So, on that basis, I wasn't happy."

Derby pinch derby point

Chris Martin bundled in a stoppage-time equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw for Derby against bitter rivals Nottingham Forest in a dramatic finish to an otherwise low-key East Midlands derby on Saturday. Moments after the Rams had substitute Martyn Waghorn sent off for a studs-up challenge, Martin made the most of indecision in the Reds defence to pinch a vital point.

rooney derby 1280.jpg

With Wayne Rooney crowded out in midfield and unable to exert any influence, County barely threatened to get back on terms, let alone go on to earn a sixth successive victory. Phillip Cocu's charges came close to conceding again and did not manage to muster an effort on-target in a limp 45 minutes with Forest in the ascendancy at Pride Park.

However, the resilient Rams refused to buckle and were eventually rewarded late on. Post-match Cocu said: "We conceded an easy goal, and we had a poor start, we hesitated and we were slow which changed after we conceded which I'm a little disappointed about. But in the end we got an important goal and mentally we are in a good place."

Albion odds-on at The Hawthorns

West Brom have registered a solitary success in seven recent meetings with Derby across all competitions (W1-D2-L4). The Baggies have been beaten in their last past encounters with County at The Hawthorns, including a 4-1 thrashing here last term under Darren Moore. The two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse contest at Pride Park back in August 2019.

West Brom [1.81] have bagged successive victories to put their automatic promotion hopes back on track. Albion have relished encounters with top-half teams (W9-D7-L3) during Slaven Bilic's reign with W5-D4-L0 earned as hosts. The Baggies also boast the league's joint-top home goalscorers this season, averaging 2.00 goals per-game at The Hawthorns.

Derby [4.90] were languishing in the bottom-half on Christmas Day, although the arrival of Wayne Rooney has sparked an eye-catching resurgence from the Rams. No second-tier side has collected more points since Boxing Day (W10-D5-L3) with County also racking up 35 goals in that 18-game sample to move within touching distance of the top-six.

Goals expected between promotion-chasing pair

Only Loftus Road (3.52) has seen more goals per-game than The Hawthorns (3.25) with West Brom's home fixtures crossing the Over 3.5 Goals barrier in nine (45%) of their 20 encounters here. A massive 14 (70%) of those matches have also paid out for Both Teams To Score backers with Albion earning a surprisingly measly three clean sheets as hosts.

Derby have gotten on the scoresheet in each of their past 18 outings since Christmas - 12 of those tussles saw Over 2.5 Goals [1.84] land with 14 paying out for Both Teams To Score [1.77] backers. A repeat of the latter has to appeal on Wednesday considering the Rams have kept a sole away shutout this season, rewarding BTTS hunters on 12 (60%) occasions.

Mark's 2019/20 Profit/Loss

Staked: 156.00 pts
Returned: 177.22 pts
P/L: +21.22 pts

Mark O'Haire,

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