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Coventry v West Brom preview: Albion on the rise

There is a big all-Midlands clash at Coventry on Wednesday when the Sky Blues host West Bromwich Albion at the CBS Arena.

The Championship is such a tight division that the Baggies could jump eight places in the table with a victory and be on the verge of the play-off places, something that would have been unthinkable a couple of months ago.

However, the Sky Blues have a good recent record at the Coventry Building Society Arena and could be a tough nut to crack.

Baggies are flying under Corberan

What: Coventry v West Bromwich Albion, EFL Championship
Where: Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry
When: 19:45, Wednesday 21st December
Odds: Coventry 2/1, Draw 11/5, West Brom 29/20

Early indications were that West Brom could be in for a relegation struggle this season but they are now looking upwards rather than fearing a drop into League One.

The early months of the campaign were disastrous for a team that were expected to be battling it out at the top end of the table, and they had won just two league games before Steve Bruce left the Hawthorns at the end of October.

Former Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan took over and, after a 2-0 defeat to the promotion-chasing Sheffield United, they have won their last five matches, a run that stretches either side of the World Cup break, and that means after all the doom and gloom of the opening months, there is now talk of them getting into the play-off picture.

Coventry need to bounce back

Coventry stormed into the break with four wins on the bounce but they have struggled to get going again and manager Mark Robins will be looking for them to get back on track against the Baggies.

They have been as high as eighth in the Championship table this season and will be looking for a stronger play-off push this term having finished 12th in the second tier last term.

However, a 1-0 defeat at Reading in their first game back was a blow but not on the same level as last Saturday when they were three-goals up against Swansea at home and allowed the Swans to come back into the game and snatch a 3-3 draw.

However, Robins should take confidence from the fact the Sky Blues have lost just one of their last seven games at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Saturday’s thriller was also only the third of their last 10 home matches that featured more than two goals.

Over 2.5 goals in this match is available to back at 6/5 while Under 2.5 goals is 4/6.

Defence could hold key for Albion

While Brandon Thomas-Asante has chipped in with two goals in his last three games, including one as a substitute in their last match, a 3-0 win over Rotherham, and Jed Wallace has chipped in with four goals from midfield this term, it has been the defence that has been the key to the Baggies’ success under Corberan.

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Albion have conceded just one goal in their five-match-winning streak and that was a penalty in their 2-1 victory at Sunderland, so their excellent form has been built on a solid foundation.

They are 11/4 to win this match without conceding.

Those looking for a Baggies goalscorer bet may be interested in Thomas-Asante, even though his goal against Rotherham came after he had entered the fray as a substitute.

He is 3/1 to Score At Any Time while Wallace is available at 15/4.

Gyokeres is the star turn for Sky Blues

For the Baggies to continue their winning run, they will have to keep a close eye on Coventry striker Viktor Gyokeres, who looks to be their strongest goal threat.

The Swede has been on target 10 times this season and seven of those goals have come in home matches, so he could be the one to silence a big away following.

His latest strike was the third goal against Swansea last week and he is 11/2 favourite to Score The First Goal of the game.

The former Brighton man can also be backed at 9/4 to Score At Any Time.

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