West Brom host Burnley on Friday night with both sides looking to strengthen their promotion credentials, and I have three selections for a boosted Bet Builder.
A quick glance at the table and you’ll see the Baggies have drawn five of their seven games so far, and while they were hard done by not to beat Watford, more is needed to turn those draws into wins.
Albion created enough to win the game at Huddersfield, with Karlan Grant and Okay Yokuslu denied by an impressive Lee Nicholls, but slack defending saw them 2-0 down in the first half with it all to do.
While Jed Wallace has been decent, John Swift has been inconsistent and Yokuslu looked tired in the draw against Wigan. The defence hasn’t looked as robust as you might expect of a Steve Bruce side, with David Button ranked second bottom, ahead of only Joe Lumley, in the goals prevented chart.
The lack of victories is leaving fans impatient, and Burnley should provide a stern test.
While some may have doubted how the Clarets would fare this season, Vincent Kompany’s outfit have largely been impressive, but are also drawing more games than they’d care for, being frustrated by Luton and Hull, then throwing away a two-goal lead against Blackpool.
They’ve been more clinical since, however, with a 5-1 win at Wigan and a 2-0 win against Millwall leaving them very much in the mix.
All in all, things are looking promising at Turf Moor; the players have quickly taken to the former Manchester City captain’s methods, with the Clarets averaging 68% of possession in their games so far this season.
While Albion have been crying out for a No.9, the return of Jay Rodriguez will give many Baggies fans memories of that 45-goal partnership with Dwight Gayle back in the 2018/19 campaign, including a contentious injury-time goal with the aid of a hand against Aston Villa in a 2-2 draw.
‘Jay-Rod’ has long since returned to his beloved Burnley and the 33-year-old might be rubbing his hands at facing an Albion defence that not only needs refreshing, but is vulnerable too, and that’s not good when a team like the Clarets, who have scored the most goals from open play in the Championship, come to town.
With this in mind I’ll be backing Rodriguez to have Over 1.5 Shots in the match.
The Baggies have managed 11 goals this season, but with the likes of Grady Diangana, Wallace, Swift and Grant, maybe we should’ve expected more, but with Bruce’s side playing at home under the lights at the Hawthorns, you sense that quartet are more than capable of breaching the Clarets defence at the very least, so BTTS gets my vote.
Diangana had an off day at Wigan in midweek, but with both him and Wallace down the flanks, I’m looking at West Brom corners.
The Black Country side have averaged 11 per game so far this season, a very small sample size admittedly, but my final play is Over 7 Corners in the match for the hosts.
Jay Rodriguez Over 1.5 Shots - 1/2
Both Teams to Score - 4/5
Over 7 West Brom Corners - 11/4
Bet Builder boosted from 17/2 to 12/1
By Steve Freeth