Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Blackpool

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Blackpool

Two teams battling for top-four finishes in La Liga will lock horns on Friday evening, as Real Sociedad welcome Real Betis to Anoeta Stadium.

Real Sociedad are currently sixth in the table, three points behind fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, while Betis occupy fifth, two points ahead of their opponents in this match.

Steve Bruce had to bide his time to secure his first win as manager of the Baggies, but since that first victory against Hull at the beginning of March, West Brom have put together a decent run of results.

However, Friday’s hosts will have to bounce back from a loss last time out, when they welcomed Stoke City to the West Midlands and suffered a 3-1 defeat, despite creating as many chances as their visitors.

The Baggies have only lost three games on home soil this season, during which time they have conceded just 15 goals in 20 matches, the joint-second-best record in the division.

At the other end of the pitch, though, West Brom have not managed to score as many goals as the majority of the sides above them in the table, suggesting that they will look to prioritise keeping a clean sheet on Friday.

Neil Critchley’s side have continued to slip down the Championship in recent weeks, but they did prevent a third consecutive defeat by earning a 1-1 draw against playoff-chasing Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

The Tangerines went 1-0 behind within 10 minutes of that game, but an early second-half strike from Marvin Ekpiteta ensured that the visitors took a point from their Lancashire counterparts.

Blackpool have only won once in their last 12 matches in all competitions on their travels, dating back to the end of October, but they have managed to secure many draws away from home since then which has kept their points tally ticking over.

West Brom have won possession in their attacking final third the most out of any side in the second tier, meaning that Critchley’s side can expect to be pressed high on Friday.

In the reverse fixture at Bloomfield Road in November, these two teams played out a goalless draw but the Baggies, in particular, would have come away from that encounter wondering how they did not pick up two more points, having created many chances on goal.

West Bromwich Albion Championship form:
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Blackpool Championship form:
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We say: West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Blackpool
Bruce’s side will expect themselves to pick up three points on Friday, after recording some impressive victories on home soil against Fulham and Bournemouth which should give the hosts confidence.

Blackpool are in a difficult spell having gone four games without a win, but three of those four matches have been tight affairs which is why the Tangerines are likely to create some problems for West Brom.

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