Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Burnley

Burnley make the trip to The Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion with the opportunity to move to the top of the Championship standings.

While the Clarets currently occupy a place in the playoff spots, the Baggies remain down in mid-table after collecting five draws from seven outings.

Match preview

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Bruce on August 14, 2022

With Steve Bruce having never been overly welcomed to the club, there will be a section of West Brom supporters who will be calling for a change in the dugout after just one league win this campaign.

Although they will be able to justify that argument, it should be equally recognised that the Baggies have suffered just one defeat, with their five draws keeping them in contention.

No team in the division has won more than four times in seven matches, and a couple of victories on the bounce will catapult West Brom into the top six.

As well as being on a four-match unbeaten streak in the second tier, West Brom have collected four of their five draws from losing positions, a clear sign that these players are performing for Bruce.

Facing Burnley represents another tough fixture during the early weeks, but the West Midlands outfit will be in an encouraging place mentally and in terms of position if they can become just the second team to defeat Vincent Kompany’s team.

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany on August 12, 2022

Despite having accumulated 12 points from seven matches, the Belgian will feel that his Clarets squad could be in an even stronger position at this stage.

Nevertheless, despite blowing a 3-1 lead against Blackpool, Burnley have responded with successive victories over Wigan Athletic and Millwall, scoring seven goals in the process.

Kompany may have taken more satisfaction from the clean sheet recorded against Millwall than the five-goal spree at Wigan, the shutout being their first in the Championship since the opening game.

However, the goals are now beginning to flow after their struggles at the start of August, Nathan Tella proving to be a crucial addition from Southampton with three goals coming from 283 minutes of action.

With West Brom and Norwich City to come in successive outings, the fixtures get no easier for Burnley, but Kompany knows that productive results from both can help create a gap between the automatic promotion spots and the playoffs.

Team News

Nathan Tella celebrates scoring for Burnley on August 27, 2022

Defender Semi Ajayi will be absent for West Brom, potentially in the long term with Bruce pessimistic about the knee and ankle injuries that his player sustained at Wigan.

Darnell Furlong should return at right-back to allow Dara O’Shea to move inside, while Jake Livermore is likely to earn a recall in midfield given the quick turnaround.

With Callum Robinson sidelined with a hamstring injury, Bruce could stick with the remainder of the side from Tuesday night.

Goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell is expected to start for Burnley with Arijanet Muric injuring his shoulder versus Millwall.

Nathan Tella is likely to be fit despite picking up a knock in the same game, with Manuel Benson an alternative to Johann Berg Gudmundsson down the right flank.

Ian Maatsen is available again after serving a three-match ban for his sending off against Blackpool.

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Button; O’Shea, Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend; Yokuslu, Livermore; Wallace, Swift, Diangana; Grant

Burnley possible starting lineup:
Peacock-Farrell; Roberts, Harwood-Bellis, Taylor, Vitinho; Brownhill, Cork, Cullen; Gudmundsson, Rodriguez, Tella

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