Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Cardiff City – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday’s Championship clash between West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Both harbouring ambitions of reaching the Premier League via the lottery of the playoffs, West Bromwich Albion will do battle with Cardiff City at the Hawthorns on Tuesday in the Championship.

The Baggies shared the spoils with promotion rivals Ipswich Town following a four-goal thriller on the weekend, whilst the Bluebirds’ home troubles continued with a defeat to Preston North End.

Match preview

West Bromwich Albion manager Carlos Corberan on December 29, 2023© Reuters

West Brom’s mixed form at the beginning of the calendar year continued at Portman Road against Ipswich on Saturday afternoon, although it appeared as if the Baggies were heading for a first away success since the trip to Rotherham United in December before Chelsea loanee Omari Hutchinson equalised for the hosts in added time.

Enjoying a breakthrough season as part of Carlos Corberan‘s side, academy graduate Tom Fellows gave Luke Woolfenden the run around before cooly slotting past Vaclav Hladky to open the scoring in East Anglia, with goals from Nathan Broadhead and John Swift meaning that Albion were extremely close to collecting maximum points.

Due to the successes of Coventry City and Michael Beale‘s Sunderland over the weekend, West Brom only have a two-point gap between themselves and the seventh-placed Black Cats, with a playoff spot less-than secure for a side who have arguably been the best in the division – excluding the quartet of teams at the top of the table.

With a number of his striking counterparts spending the majority of the season in the medical room, Brandon Thomas-Asante has burdened the responsibility of leading the line for the Albion, with the former Salford City marksman netting nine second-tier goals in 28 appearances to date.

The Baggies’ form at The Hawthorns will be the envy of every side trying to chase them down for a coveted top-six position – Corberan’s men have won their last four league matches at their Black Country by an aggregate score of 7-1, last losing at home to Leicester City on December 2.

Cardiff City manager Erol Bulut reacts on August 6, 2023© Reuters

Cardiff’s wait for a much-needed maximum at home has extended to five Championship matches following a highly-disappointing 2-0 defeat to Ryan Lowe‘s Preston last time out, with the Welsh hosts having now scored just twice in their last five games across all competitions.

Lilywhites striker Emil Riis Jakobsen netted his first goal for the Lancashire club since returning from a long-term injury to give the visitors at the Cardiff City Stadium a first-half lead, and Ben Whiteman soon doubled their advantage during a game in which the Bluebirds failed to seriously threaten Freddie Woodman.

With just the single win from their last seven second-tier contests, Erol Bulut has watched his side slide down to 14th in the Championship standings, sitting seven points behind Mark Robins‘s Sky Blues in sixth and 11 points ahead of Queens Park Rangers in the relegation zone.

A number of Cardiff’s January arrivals made their home debuts for the club during Saturday’s loss to Preston, with the likes of Josh Wilson-Esbrand and former Bristol City Famara Diedhiou pushing for starts after lively cameos off the bench, although the pair were unable to fire their new employers to victory.

The Bluebirds have not managed to win any of their last five matches at The Hawthorns, however the Welsh outfit have recorded back-to-back draws in the Black Country since West Brom returned to the Championship in 2021, with last season’s edition of this fixture ending in a goalless draw.

West Bromwich Albion Championship form:

West Bromwich Albion form (all competitions):

Cardiff City Championship form:

Cardiff City form (all competitions):

Team News

West Bromwich Albion's Daryl Dike reacts after the match on January 2, 2022© Reuters

West Brom’s respectable result at Ipswich on Saturday was overshadowed by the Achilles injury sustained by Daryl Dike, with the American set to battle a fourth long-term injury in the space of two years.

As one unique talent is sentenced to the sidelines, another returns, with Grady Diangana flying back to England following his involvement with DR Congo at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Kyle Bartley was forced off at the half-time break at Portman Road, meaning Okay Yoksulu may partner Cedric Kipre at centre-back on Tuesday night.

Looking to eliminate a second-goal deficit, Aaron Ramsey was brought on for the second period against Preston, and the Wales legend could be set for his first start since the South Wales derby four months ago.

Ryan Wintle and Josh Bowler are prime candidates to make way in the Bluebirds’ starting XI, as Bulut’s side aim to integrate a host of January signings during a busy part of the campaign.

Mark McGuinness is set to be out for up to eight weeks due to a hamstring injury, so Liverpool loanee Nat Phillips will be preparing for an extended spell in the side at centre-back.

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Palmer; Furlong, Yokuslu, Kipre, Townsend; Chalobah, Mowatt, Wallace, Weimann, Fellows, Thomas-Asante

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Alnwick; Ng, Goutas, Phillips, Collins; Wilson-Esbrand, Siopis, Ramsey, Turnbull, Grant; Diedhiou

SM words green background

We say: West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Cardiff City

West Brom have an impressive record of clean sheets at The Hawthorns and they should be confident of continuing that trend against a goal-shy Cardiff on Tuesday.

The Bluebirds could be lifted by a influx of new signings and the returning Ramsey into their XI in this one, however we still believe that the visitors will return to Wales empty handed.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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